The Mud crab is a species of crab which is found in the estuaries and mangroves of Asia, Australia and Africa. It an economically very important crab species. It is also known as Scylla serrata, Mangrove crab, Black crab, Serrated Swimming crab, Giant Mud crab, Mangrove crab, Indo-Pacific Swamp crab, Edible Mud crab etc.
Natural range of the Mud crab is in the Indo-Pacific. It is found from South Africa, around the coast of the Indian Ocean to the Malay Archipelago. As well as from southern Japan to south-eastern Australia, and as far east as Fiji and Samoa. It has also been introduced to Hawaii and Florida. Read some more information about this crab species below.
Mud Crab Characteristics
Carapace of the Mud crab is smooth, with strong transversal ridges. Gastric zone on the carapace with a deep H-shaped groove. They have broad teeth on each anterolateral margin, all them with similar size and projecting obliquely outwards. They have strong chelipeds with well developed spines on the outer surface of carpus and on the anterior and posterior dorsal parts of propodus.
Coloration of the Mud crab is green to almost black with legs that may be marbled. They have small irregular white spots on the carapace and swimming legs. But in their most common form, the shell color varies from a deep, mottled green to very dark brown.
Average shell width of the Mud crab is up to 24 cm. And they can grow up to 3.5 kg live body weight. Photo and info from Wikipedia.
Mud crab’s diet is based on molluscs and crustaceans, rarely on plant material and fish.
The Mud crabs migrate offshore for spawning. They generally become mature when they reach around 9 cm carapace width. In most cases they become mature within their first year of life. The male crabs generally approach females, before the females have undergone a precopulatory molt. Males start grasping them with their chelipeds and first pair of walking legs and carrying them around for up to several days until the females molt. Usually, an average sized female crab can produce up to 2 million eggs. The eggs take a few weeks to hatch.
The Mud crab is mainly used for food. It is very popular as food throughout it’s range and also globally.
The Mud crab is an economically very important species in it’s native range. It is mainly collected by using traps, trawling, hooking, baited wire mesh pots and also by hand. These crabs are generally a very hardy and entertaining crab species and they are tolerant of most water conditions.
The Mud crabs are sold at international market at very high prices. And due to their high price and high demand, interest in aquaculture of this species has been high. Commercial Mud crab farming business is gaining popularity day by day. They have very high flesh content, and rapid growth rates in captivity. And they also have a high tolerance to both nitrate and ammonia.
The Mud crab is mainly used for food and very popular. It is generally cooked with it’s shells on. They can be served as one of many types of soft-shell crab, when they molt their shells. They can be prepared for cooking by placing them in a freezer for up to 2 hours before cooking.
Hard-shells Mud crabs are generally marketed alive. But the soft-shell crabs are marketed frozen. It is probably the most common crab species in many markets of Southeast Asia. However, review full breed profile of the Mud crab in the table below.
Mud Crab | Breed Profile
|Binomial Name||Scylla serrata|
|Other Names||Also known as Scylla serrata, Mangrove crab, Black crab, Serrated Swimming crab, Giant Mud crab, Mangrove crab, Indo-Pacific Swamp crab, Edible Mud crab etc.|
|Special Notes||Commercially important crab species, mainly collected by using traps, trawling, hooking, baited wire mesh pots and also by hand, very hardy crabs, tolerant of most water conditions, sold at very high prices in the international markets, high demand on the market, commercial aquaculture is gaining popularity day by day, very high flesh content, rapid growth rate in captivity, mainly used for food, marketed alive, most common crab species in many markets of Southeast Asia|
|Weight||Can reach up to 3 kg|
|Climate Tolerance||Native climate|
|Body Color||Varies from a deep, mottled green to very dark brown|
|Availability||Asia, Australia and Africa|