Speckled Swimming Crab

Speckled Swimming Crab
Speckled Swimming Crab shells can often be found washed up on the beaches of Padre Island.

Photo courtesy of UM Museum of Zoology

Ranging in size from two to five inches, this brightly-colored crab has light green spots on a darker, greenish-brown background. Like other swimming crabs, its hindmost legs are shaped like paddles that are well-adapted for swimming locomotion. Speckled swimming crabs can be found all along the Atlantic shorelines and from the Carolinas to Venezuela. They are also present, although less common, in the waters of the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. This crab has a very aggressive temperament (similar to the Blue crab) and vicious pincers. The Speckled swimming crab burrows down into shifting sands where its colors allow it to camouflage perfectly with its surrounding substrate, waiting to ambush its prey. It enjoys areas of slight hyper-salinity and heavy surf, where it dines on Coquina clams and Mole crabs.

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 181300
Corpus Christi, TX 78480


(361) 949-8068
This is the primary phone number for the Malaquite Visitor Center at Padre Island National Seashore.

Contact Us