15 Different Types of Crabs in Florida

Different Types of Crabs in Florida
Photo by Johnny_px

Florida is home to a wide variety of different types of crabs. From the mangrove crab to the stone crab, these crustaceans can be found living in and around the state’s shallow coastal waters. 

Whether you are a recreational fisherman or a seafood lover, learning about the different types of crabs in Florida is a great way to appreciate the Sunshine State’s diverse wildlife.

This blog post will explore some of the most common types of crabs in Florida and discuss their characteristics and habitats.

1. Atlantic Blue Crab

These crabs prefer saltier habitats and typically inhabit coastal areas such as lagoons, bays, and estuaries. They range in size from 2 to 6 inches wide and are distinguishable by their blue-green coloring and long walking legs. They are one of Florida’s most common types of crabs and are an excellent food source for humans and other wildlife.

These types of crabs in Florida are also popular seafood items, with many restaurants serving up dishes such as crab cakes or crab legs. So if you’re looking for a unique way to enjoy some of the different types of crabs found in Florida, look no further than the Atlantic Blue Crab!

2. Stone Crab

The Stone Crab (Menippe mercenaria) is one of Florida’s most popular types of crabs. It is a giant crustacean with a gray-brown shell and gray-greenish claws that are used to catch prey. Stone crabs inhabit shallow coastal waters and can be found from the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia down to the Florida Keys. 

They feed on other mollusks, fish, and crustaceans, using their large claws to crush their prey. Stone crabs can reach up to 6 inches in width, making them a large crab species compared to other types of crabs in Florida. They have an elongated body with eight legs, two antennae, and two claws. 

The claws of the Stone Crab are its most recognizable feature. These claws grow much larger than the crab’s body and are used for hunting and defending themselves against predators. The feet also break open the shells of prey, allowing the crab to access the soft tissue inside.

When it comes to harvesting Stone Crabs, fishermen use a particular type of trap called a “stone crab trap” to catch them in the wild. Once seen, fishermen must leave one claw of the crab intact so that it can regrow and be harvested again in the future. This practice helps maintain healthy populations of Stone Crabs in Florida’s waters

3. Mangrove Tree Crab

The Mangrove Tree Crab is one of the many types of crabs in Florida. These crabs are usually seen living among the mangrove trees, which are salt-tolerant and thrive along the state’s coastal areas. Mangrove Tree Crabs have a greenish-gray color and can reach sizes of up to two inches in diameter.

These crabs are omnivorous, meaning they feed on plants and animals, but they mainly feed on small invertebrates like worms, mollusks, and crustaceans. These crabs are often found on the shores during the spring and summer months, as they use these times to mate and lay eggs. Although the Mangrove Tree Crab is not considered an endangered species, it is essential to take care when handling them, as their spines can cause minor injuries.

4. Fiddler Crab

The Fiddler Crab is one of the most popular crabs in Florida. These small, one-clawed crustaceans are easily identifiable by their bright colors and unique, asymmetrical appearance. These types of crabs in Florida live on the shorelines of estuaries and other shallow saltwater areas. 

They feed primarily on algae and small pieces of organic matter and scavenge for food. The males have one enlarged claw that they use to fight off predators or communicate with other males during mating season. 

Females have two normal-sized claws. Fiddler crabs play an essential role in the Florida ecosystem, providing food for many species of fish and birds.

5. Purple Marsh Crab

One of Florida’s many types of crabs is the Purple Marsh Crab, also known as Stenothoe valida. It is a unique species found to inhabit brackish coastal habitats, often along estuarine mudflats and marshes. The crab has a purple-to-pinkish shell and five pairs of walking legs. 

Its body can grow up to 1 inch wide and is commonly found burrowing in the sand or mud. The Purple Marsh Crab feeds on plants and small invertebrates, such as worms and mollusks, and is an important prey species for larger predators like birds, fish, and other crabs.

6. Red Swamp Crab

The Red Swamp Crab (Procambarus clarkii) is one of the many crabs in Florida. It is a species of freshwater crab that is native to the southeastern United States, as well as Mexico and Central America. They are easily identifiable by their bright red coloring and broad carapace.

Red Swamp Crabs can be found in lakes, ponds, marshes, and swamps throughout Florida. They feed on aquatic vegetation, invertebrates, detritus, and carrion. This species has become a popular choice for aquaculture due to its ability to tolerate many environmental conditions. 

While most types of crabs in Florida prefer brackish or saltwater habitats, Red Swamp Crabs can thrive in either fresh or saltwater. Furthermore, they increase and produce high-quality meat, making them an ideal seafood option.

7. Atlantic White Crab

Atlantic white crabs are one of the types in Florida found on the state’s Atlantic coast. They are usually found in shallow waters close to shore, which makes them popular among recreational fishermen. 

These types of crabs in Florida grow to a maximum size of 6 inches across and have a creamy white coloration with small red spots. The shells of Atlantic white crabs are covered in bumps and ridges, creating a unique pattern. In addition to being edible, Atlantic white crabs are also used as bait for larger fish species. 

8. Spider Crab

The Spider Crab is one of the many types of crabs in Florida. This type of crab is also known as the Big Spiny or Big Foot Crab and can be found in shallow waters of the Atlantic Ocean. It is easily recognized by its long legs, which are covered with spines. 

The color of this crab can vary, but it usually has a light yellow to orange body with white spots. Spider Crabs have solid and powerful claws that they use to feed on small fish and invertebrates. They are slow-moving creatures, but they can defend themselves when threatened.

9. Hermit Crabs

Hermit crabs are among the types of crabs in Florida, typically found in warm coastal waters. These crustaceans have soft abdomens, which they protect by occupying empty gastropod shells. Hermit crabs can be identified by their large, asymmetrical claws and long legs. Florida’s most common hermit crab species is the Caribbean Hermit Crab. 

These crabs are nocturnal, meaning they come out to scavenge for food and explore during the night. They can also be found in mangrove forests, salt marshes, and beach dunes.

10. Green Crabs

Green Crabs are one of the many types of crabs in Florida. These crustaceans are native to Europe and parts of the northeast United States but have made their way into the waters of Florida. Green crabs are distinguished by their bright green shell with yellow or white spots.

They grow between two to three inches in size and are known to be aggressive, opportunistic predators. They feed on clams, mussels, snails, worms, other crustaceans, and small fish. Unfortunately, green crabs can be very destructive to their environment as they have been known to outcompete native species for food and can disrupt local ecosystems.

11. Harris Mud Crab

The Harris Mud Crab is one of the types of crabs in Florida. These mud crabs are found primarily in Apalachicola Bay and have a unique, oval-shaped carapace with sharp teeth. The carapace can vary from greyish-brown to olive green, and its underside is white or cream-colored. 

Harris Mud Crabs are omnivores and feed on various small animals and plant material. In addition to their unique physical features, these crabs are known for their hardy disposition, as they can survive in environments with little oxygen. This makes them a valuable part of the aquatic ecosystem in Florida’s waters.

12. Horseshoe Crab

The horseshoe crab is another type of crab found in Florida. This unique crustacean is not an actual crab but is often referred to as one due to its resemblance to a crab. Horseshoe crabs have been around since prehistoric times and can be identified by their flat body shape and spiny shell. 

Their large eyes make it easier for them to hunt prey at night. The horseshoe crab is one of the many types of crabs that can be found in Florida. These unique creatures live in coastal regions and are essential to the local food chain. 

Horseshoe crabs are usually found near shallow areas such as estuaries, bays, and even the shoreline. In addition to being an important food source for many birds and fish, they also play a crucial role in marine ecology, helping to maintain the balance between different types of crabs in Florida.

13. Bocourt Swimming Crab

The Bocourt Swimming Crab is one of the many crabs in Florida. This species can be identified by its skinny and elongated legs. It has an olive-green to grayish coloration with a black underside and yellow stripes on its claws. These types of crabs in Florida inhabit bays, estuaries, and lagoons, where they can be seen swimming among the mangroves and seagrasses. 

They feed on small fish, invertebrates, and organic matter in seagrass beds. This species is often found in large numbers when the water temperature is between 68°F and 84°F. The Bocourt Swimming Crab is a unique species that play a vital role in the ecosystem of Florida’s coastal waters.

14. Sand Crab

Sand Crabs are one of the many types of crabs in Florida. These crustaceans inhabit the sandy coastal areas of the state, typically living just beneath the sand’s surface and feeding on small invertebrates like worms, mollusks, and other crustaceans. 

Sand Crabs can grow up to five inches long; their bodies are usually dark brown with an off-white underside. These crabs are active at night, making them difficult to spot during the day, but during full moons, they can often be seen scurrying across the beach in search of food.

15. Golden Crab

The Golden Crab is one of the many crabs in Florida. This species is relatively brown with darker brown legs and claws. Its diet consists mainly of seaweed and other vegetation, making them an omnivorous species. 

They are typically found in shallow waters near the shoreline, where they feed and mate. To protect themselves, they often hide under rocks or in crevices in the sand. They also have a long lifespan, usually living up to 10 years.


There are many types of crabs in Florida. The most common include the Blue Crab, Stone Crab, Fiddler Crab, Purple Marsh Crab, Red Swamp Crab, Atlantic White Crab, Spider Crab, Hermit Crab, Green Crab, Harris Mud Crab, Golden Crab, Atlantic Blue Crab, Horseshoe Crab, Bocourt Swimming Crab, and Sand Crab.

Each species has unique features And habitats, making them fascinating creatures to explore and study. With such a variety of crabs available in the state, there’s sure to be something for everyone to enjoy!

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