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GIANT RED LAND CRAB (Tuerkayana magnum)

GIANT RED LAND CRAB (Tuerkayana magnum)

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The giant land crab  lives up to its name. With a dorsal carapace width of 15 to 20 centimeters and a span of the legs of 35 cm it becomes really huge and with a life expectancy of at least 12 years also unusually old. Occurrences of the Giant Land Crab can be found along the African east coast, in areas bordering the Red Sea, in the Indo-Pacific and Australia. Their extremely wide range is explained by their reproductive biology. Females carry hundreds of tiny eggs, which hatch into swimming larvae. They are released in seawater, where they are then widely drifted by the current. After quite a few molts, the larvae metamorphose over several larval stages into small crabs and migrate back to the beach to resume a terrestrial lifestyle. In the hobby, reproduction has not yet been successful. The abdominal valve of males of the Giant Land Crab is narrow and V-shaped, while that of females is shaped like an extended U.

Cardisoma carnifex is notable not only for its size, but also for its beautiful orange claws that turn white towards the tip. Legs and head carapace are light brown to brown-orange, sometimes with a slight blue tinge on the back, and usually the Giant Land Crab has bright orange leg tips and purple tones on the face.

The Giant Land Crab lives mostly on land, but purely because of its size it needs a real water part of about 50%, in which it can completely submerge. Especially for molting it often goes into the water. Brackish water or fresh water are possible. In the freshwater part you can keep fishes and also shrimps as a cleanup troop, but you have to expect that the Giant Land Crab will hunt. Cardisoma carnifex is an extremely territorial and internally quite aggressive crab, so it should be kept alone. Its size makes an aquaterrarium with an edge length of 120 cm or more necessary. The land part should be designed with terrarium humus so that the giant land crab can create its living cave. A part with sand is also a possibility. Wood and stones offer climbing possibilities and variety. Plants are eaten unconditionally.

For the tropical giant land crabs the air and water temperature should be between 25 and 28 °C. The water values do not play a major role. Despite their size Giant Land Crabs are amazingly nimble and dexterous, they like to climb very much, and especially the juveniles sometimes pull themselves up on the silicone seams. Even quite heavy lids can be opened by this powerful crab from the inside! The water part should only be filtered through an air filter, with its strong claws the Giant Land Crab cuts every cable.

The Giant Land Crab likes to eat a balanced diet of animal and vegetable matter. Foliage plays a very important role in their diet. However, it also likes fruits, greens(spinach, dandelion, nettle) and vegetables, freeze-dried brown shrimp and grasshoppers, frozen food, smelts and other raw fish, but also commercial food for crabs.

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