Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

Striped Shore Crab

Pachygrapsus crassipes


Fun Facts

    The striped shore crab spends at least half its time on land, but submerges at times to wet its gills.

    Raccoons sometimes reach down between rocks and try to catch striped shore crabs for a tasty meal.



  The striped shore crab has a purplish black carapace with green stripes. Its carapace is square and can reach 4 to 5 cm in size. The claws are usually red with a mottled pattern on the upper surface, and white on the lower surface, while its legs are purple and green with a similar mottled appearance. These crabs are found in crevices, tidepools, and mussel beds, and sometimes on muddy shores of bays and estuaries.
The striped shore crab feeds on films of algae and diatoms growing on the rocks in tidepools and crevices, which the crab scrapes off with its claws. They also scavenge on dead animals and at times they eat living prey, such as limpets, snails, other crabs, and even the unwary fly: a quick lunge can result in a successful catch. In turn, these crabs are eaten by gulls, octopus, rats, raccoons, and even man.
Striped shore crabs are usually found at the Aquarium in tank number 1.