Colorful Moon Crab Climbing Cliff at Beach in Nicaragua (Photo of the Day)

Moon or Halloween Crab in Nicaragua

Today’s photo is of a crab that goes by many names: moon, Halloween, hermit, red land and Gecarcinus quadratus. To me, a traveler in Nicaragua, it was just a crab, one whose colors shocked and awed me.

I’d never seen anything quite like it.


Where: Madera and Remanso Beach, Nicaragua

I was with a friend, visiting some virgin beaches called Madera and Remanso, not far from San Juan del Sur. We had taken a truck there with some other travelers. I think it was about $5. It was a bumpy ride, but definitely worth it. The beaches were lovely, uncrowded and full of cool surprises like this crab.

Why It Got My Attention

I’m sure it’s obvious–the colors. Especially the eyes. I was fascinated by it and enjoyed watching it climb the rocky cliff. Sometimes it just sat and chilled out. I got as close as I could to photograph it, but not too close. :)

Additional Information

These crabs are common in coastal rainforests of Central America, and on the coasts of Costa Rica, Panama, and Nicaragua. They’re primarily herbivorous and eat leaf litter and seedlings.

Photographic Details

Camera: FinePix E900
F stop: 6.4
Shutter: 1/160 second
ISO: 400
Filter: None

Your Thoughts/Reactions?

Have you ever seen one of these crabs? If so, where? What did you think?

I really liked this crab–probably because it seemed so unique to me. I did not feel the same way about some of the crabs I encountered in San Blas, Panama. There were many of them out at night–thousands–when I camped there. Red and white. And they sort of freaked me out. Why? Because of a certain ‘skittling’ sound they made. Here’s a two-part story about my camping experience in San Blas. For me, a non-camper, it was a bit intense. At times, I felt like I was on an episode of ‘Survivor.’ :)

Can’t Get Enough?

Want to see more photos from around the world? Here are the other ‘photos of the day‘ (people, places and things) from several continents. Here are addition posts from Nicaragua.

22 Responses to Colorful Moon Crab Climbing Cliff at Beach in Nicaragua (Photo of the Day)
  1. Lindsay Hartfiel
    January 9, 2013 | 5:51 pm

    Love this photo! Came across these little crawlers all the time near the beach in Costa Rica. The colors are stunning!

    • CB Driver
      January 10, 2013 | 11:21 am

      Hi, Lindsay–glad you like it! ‘Little crawlers’ is a good name for them! :)

  2. Dyanne@TravelnLass
    January 9, 2013 | 8:15 pm

    Isn’t it amazing – the vivid colors of nature? I mean, whodda thought a simple crab could be such a work of art?

    Then again, I guess you wouldn’t fancy the red crab migration on Christmas island, eh? ;) Personally, I hope to witness it one day.
    Dyanne@TravelnLass recently posted..Wordless Wednesday: Mama & Baby OrangutansMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      January 10, 2013 | 11:21 am

      Hey, Dyanne. It really is amazing–the colors are so beautiful.

      Red crab migration? Hmmm. Not sure. Of course, if I were there just to see it and not camping in the middle of it, maybe. :)

  3. Maria
    January 9, 2013 | 8:25 pm

    Pretty! I want one for a pet. Maybe two. :-)
    Maria recently posted..Soul TemptingMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      January 10, 2013 | 11:22 am

      That would be an interesting pet. I wonder what sort of cage it would have. OR would you let it skittle freely? :)

  4. Leigh
    January 9, 2013 | 10:21 pm

    That’s a beautiful crab and if I were a crab that’s what I would want to look like!!
    Leigh recently posted..The Search for Alberta’s Snowy OwlsMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      January 10, 2013 | 11:23 am

      Hi, Leigh. That makes sense! It’s probably the most beautiful type of crab one could be (if one were going to be a crab)! :)

  5. Becky GlobalGrasshopper
    January 10, 2013 | 9:50 am

    The colours are beautiful, crabs scare me a little but I’m sure I would just be in awe of this one! Nice work.

    • CB Driver
      January 10, 2013 | 11:24 am

      Hi, Becky. Thanks! They scare you, too, huh? My biggest fear is one coming into my tent at night. Maybe that’s why I’m not such a good camper. Too many things like that freak me out!

  6. Tom @ Waegook Tom
    January 12, 2013 | 12:16 am

    Eek, love this photo! I’m generally of the opinion that crabs are merely spiders in shells, but the colours on this one are really striking. Love! :)
    Tom @ Waegook Tom recently posted..Foodporn NZ: Auckland Budget RestaurantsMy Profile

  7. Izy Berry - The Wrong Way Home
    January 13, 2013 | 2:12 pm

    I love the crab! It looks like a toy one
    Izy Berry – The Wrong Way Home recently posted..Costs in Siem ReapMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      January 13, 2013 | 9:23 pm

      Ha, ha–yes, it does look like a toy. I’ll bet the bite feels real, though! :)

  8. Ally
    January 13, 2013 | 5:52 pm

    Ahh the ‘skitling’ sound would freak me out too. I like the colours on it, but I would not go anywhere near it ha ha
    Ally recently posted..Who likes short shorts?My Profile

    • CB Driver
      January 13, 2013 | 9:21 pm

      Hi, Ally. Yes, that sound is pretty unnerving–especially when it’s a bunch of crabs.

      I got sort of close, but not too close! :)

  9. Express China Visa
    January 17, 2013 | 1:36 pm

    very colorful crab.. why i never seen this before? i wish to go there.

  10. Michi
    February 1, 2013 | 10:06 am

    Photos of creatures like this always leave me in awe of how amazing (and at times, alien) our planet is!
    Michi recently posted..Snowy days, burning cars, and a bit of history on Northern Ireland.My Profile

    • CB Driver
      February 3, 2013 | 12:19 pm

      Yeah, me too. This crab’s colors really blew me away…

  11. Rossana
    February 3, 2013 | 11:46 am

    Hello Mrs. Egle.Woww I am very impressed about this picture and also that you were so brave of taking it. Never in my life I saw an animal like this in Peru. Well in the beaches that I used to go in Peru and camp with my family,like for example LEON DORMIDO(Is called like this because you can see a creation made of stone, and this creation is a lion sleeping)This beach is located at the Sur of my country. Well, when I camped with my family, at night my cousins and I noticed a lot, hundred of crabs running throught the water. It was wonderful. But never, ever I saw a crab of those flamboyant colors.I forget to tell you, as I said you were so brave of taking the picture, because OH MY GOD ,you don’t know what could happen if the animal noticed you been so close to him. Wow your trips are really amazing. love your student Rossana

    • CB Driver
      February 3, 2013 | 12:25 pm

      Hi, Rosanna. Thanks so much! It was a little scary getting so close to the crab. The reason is that when I was in Guatemala, I started to photograph a pelican and at one point, it actually chased me. That was truly frightening! :) Here’s a link if you’d like to read about that. It’s pretty funny.

      Meanwhile…I’ve never heard of Leon Dormido. That’s a cool name! I’m glad you saw the crabs running through the water instead of them running up to you on the beach! Sounds like it was a very enjoyable experience for you.

      Thanks for all you’ve said. Glad you’ve been enjoying reading about my trips here on Chicky Bus. Nice to have you as a ‘passenger’! :)

  12. Gina
    February 9, 2013 | 7:26 pm

    So cool! I love crabs – they’re so fun to watch scurry around. This one has such neat colors!
    Gina recently posted..One Day Around the Web | 2/9/13My Profile

    • CB Driver
      February 11, 2013 | 11:04 am

      Hi, Gina. Thanks for stopping by! Crabs are fun to watch–as long as they’re not entering your tent at night! :)

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