Vampire crab, Geosesarma sp.


Chris Lukhaup introduces the stunning Vampire crab, which is believed to be an undescribed species from the genus Geosesarma.

Quick to seize on unsuspecting live prey, the Vampire crab effortlessly lives up to its name. Chris Lukhaup identifies  a twilight terror.

These are omnivorous crabs, but meaty victims make up much of the Vampire’s diet. It eats all kinds of dry food, but also freeze-dried animals as well as earthworms and springtails. From time to time it can also be given live house crickets — and these are ruthlessly  hunted down in a flash!

Vampires are crepuscular, feeding at dusk and dawn, and nocturnal, when they also munch on mosses and graze on algae.

It is one of several crabs attracting a lot of interest right now and it is found on an island off the coast of Sulawesi, being shipped regularly to Europe via Jakarta. Until now the species has not been scientifically described and we only have very scant information on its distribution and habitats.

These creatures belong to the genus of Geosesarma. They are fully grown at a body length of 2-3cm/0.8-1.2“ and therefore ideal for smaller aquaterrariums.

Females carry eggs about every six months and, from the eggs, about 50 to 60 young crabs hatch. They should be kept at 22-28°C/72-82°F and amid high humid conditions.

This species has established itself successfully in terrestrial and freshwater habitats and is now totally independent of the sea.

This item was first published in the October 2009 issue of Practical Fishkeeping magazine. It may not be reproduced without written permission.