Galapagos Crabs

galapagos crabs

The Galapagos crabs have different stunning colors.

They are black or dark brown when young which is useful for camouflaging from its predators (shorebirds such as herons) on the black lava coasts of the Galapagos Islands.


Adult crabs are bright orange some with pink or yellow spots, they can grow up to 20 cm.

They are often seen in large numbers on each volcanic Island in Galapagos. The scientific name of these crabs is "Grapsus Grapsus" and the common name is Sally Lightfoot Crabs or also known as "Red Rock Crabs".

They have the incredible ability to walk on water, as they move or jump from rock to rock and can climb up vertical gradients.

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The crabs in Galapagos are very charming especially for taking pictures and they often share their space with marine iguanas and sea lions. You will find the most intensely colored crabs in the shores of Bartolome Island

The sally lightfoot crabs feed (as scavengers) on a variety of algae, fresh or dead animals.

The Galapagos crabs (Sally Lightfoot Crabs) are invertebrates that have five pairs of legs, the two in the front with the shape of two symmetrical pincers.

The other legs of the crab are large and kind of flat, touching the surface with only its tips.

Important Tip: When you get too close these crabs, they run away to safety behind rocks.

So if you want to take a good close picture of them, you should remain motionless for some time, and the Galapagos crabs will come out from their hiding places and creep quite close to you.

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Sally Lightfoot Crabs are usually very active and is quite an attraction to see them in their natural habitat.

The crabs have a flat rounded carapace from around 3 to 5 inches in length. They are flat and close to the ground and have the appearance of a spider because of its shape.

Crabs usually live in the lava rocks of the coast line in the turbulent and windy shore. It moves pretty fast and its agility makes it hard to catch. The fishermen use it as bait.

The crabs in the Galapagos Islands where also sighted by Charles Darwin during his voyage on HMS Beagle on 1835. Here's the History of Charles Darwin

These crabs can also be seen along the coasts of South America and Central America and in the nearby Islands.

Galapagos Landscapes are surprisingly varied and of a stunning beauty.

But it's the wildlife that will probably leave the most lasting impression, you will see a wide variety of animals such as:

Prehistoric-looking marine iguanas, penguins, brightly-colored Galapagos crabs, playful sea lions, albatrosses with its amazing courtship ceremonies.

You can also observe the intriguing Darwin's finches, frigatebirds, boobies with bright blue or red feet and more Galapagos Animals including the most famous Galapagos Tortoises well known for their extraordinary longevity.

Recommended Reading

Ecuador & Galapagos (Insight Guides). Click to order from Amazon

Ecuador & Galapagos (Insight Guides)

With 250 photos and tons of great information, this is an essential addition to your pre-Ecuador and -Galapagos reading!

There are better guides if you are only interested in the islands, but for a combination trip taking in Ecuador as well, it's hard to beat.


Birds, Mammals, and Reptiles of the Galapagos Islands. Click to order from Amazon

Birds, Mammals, and Reptiles of the Galapagos Islands

Small enough to fit into your pocket, yet containing comprehensive information and pictures of all the species you will encounter in the islands, this book is a must-have for nature lovers.

Let's face it, Galapagos is largely about the wildlife. This book will NOT disappoint, and you'll have a great memento of your time with the seals, penguins and tortoises!


Galapagos: The Islands That Changed the World. Click to order from Amazon

Galapagos: The Islands That Changed the World

Definitely NOT a tourist's guide, but if you're like me, and find the history and geography of the islands irresistible, then this is a title you ought to invest in.

Stunningly illustrated, and painstakingly researched, those of you who have been there will be enchanted again -- and those of you who have not will begin planning your trip!


Moon Spotlight Galapagos. Click to order from Amazon

Moon Spotlight Galapagos Islands

If you're a seasoned Galapagos regular, then you will probably prefer something weightier.

But for first-timers looking for simple, down-to-earth advice on where to go, what to see and the best shopping and eating on the islands, this is the book for you.

Small, well-priced, and reliable!


Galapagos: Islands Born of Fire. Click to order from Amazon

Galapagos: Islands Born of Fire

The 10th anniversary edition of this photographer's tour of the Galapagos Islands is a stunning book, worthy of anybody's coffee table.

This is a perfect post-trip talking point -- a great way to remember what you've seen, and spread the word amongst your envious friends!


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If you have questions about the Galapagos Crabs, You can post them on our Galapagos FAQ Page and if you'd like to request more information about our recommended Galapagos Land Tours to explore these Islands, You can Contact us here

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