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Sand Fiddler Uca pugilator


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Sand Fiddler
credit: Ianare Sevi/CCSA

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Category: Crabs and Shrimp view all from this category

Description Uca pugilator, the sand fiddler crab is a small fiddler crab found in sandy or muddy intertidal areas, or mangrove-covered ground, where it digs its holes in the root-filled ground. It uses these holes for shelter from the elements and predators. The carapace is a square shape, tapering slightly to the rear. The space between the eyes is much shorter than the eyestalk. The males have one extremely enlarged claw, which they use to claim their territory and fight with other males. It is common for males to lose claws in the battles. When this happens, the claw regenerates and the opposite side begins to enlarge. Fiddler crabs are right or left clawed. The inside of these claws are also very smooth, unlike its other close relatives Uca pugnax and Uca minax.

Uca pugilator is one of only 5 species of fiddler crabs found primarily in temperate areas. The species occurs on the east coast of North America and in the Gulf of Mexico, having been found as far north as Massachusetts and as far south as Texas and Florida. This species has also been reportedly been found in the Bahamas. They may also be found in the warmer waters of the Atlantic along the West coast of Africa.

Habitat Mud flats, Salt marshes & estuaries, Sandy beaches.

Range New England, Florida, Mid-Atlantic, Texas.