Trapezia tigrina (Red-spotted guard crab)


The red-spotted guard crab is a very small coral crab with a white to pink carapace, covered in red dots. It has 6 small teeth between the eyes and the lower half of the pincers are smooth. They live solitary or in small groups.


Unassessed by he IUCN Red list. This species is however widely spread throughout the Indo-Pacific region, however they are easy to miss. They stay hidden from sight amongst corals and are very skittish of curious divers.


Eastern Africa and the Red Sea to the Hawaiian islands and Japan. They are hidden between the branching corals Acropora and Pocillopora, in a depth range of 1-90 meters.


Before mating, these crabs commonly perform courtship rituals. Reproduction is sexual, but sperm transfer indirect.


Up to 1,5cm. Like all crabs, when they grow, their old exoskeleton molts and eventually sheds, allowing the lower soft exoskeleton to grow and then harden again.

Prey / Predation

Trapezia tigrina feeds on zooplankton.

Special features

These guard crabs are very protective of their homes and will defend it from intruders (even much larger ones).