Cardisoma guanhumi or the blue land crab is usually not seen. These species spend most of their time in burrows. However, in cases of heavy rainfall and during the spawning season, swarms of crabs can be spotted at various locations in South Florida. Massive crab invasions have been observed recently in Miami Dade County, near Miami, in Martin County, and in Port St. Lucie.
Blue land crabs live in tropical zones along the Atlantic coast. Their size is quite impressive: adult species reach 6 in (15 cm) in diameter. They are usually recognized due to their color. Also, their one claw is significantly larger than the other and it can grow bigger than the crab itself. The spawning season of land crabs in Florida usually lasts from June to December with a peak in October and November.
After the land crab eggs hatch, they need to be released into saltwater in order to survive, that's why female crabs flock en masse to the nearest water bodies. Not all land crabs can be eaten, as some of these crabs are known to be poisonous.
When does the land crab migration take place in Florida?
The blue land crab species migrate between June and December, with a peak in October and November. Females move towards water sources to lay their eggs, leading to the communal phenomenon called land crab migration. This amazing spectacle can be observed in South Florida as the crabs cross streets and enter people's backyards. Show more
Where can we witness the land crab migration in Florida?
Visit Miami Dade, Martin County, or Port St. Lucie if you wish to witness the land crab migration in Florida. Land crabs emerge from burrows and make their way to saltwater sources to lay eggs, creating a remarkable sight. Although some homeowners perceive this as a nuisance, it is a natural wonder you should experience at least once. Show more
Are the land crabs in Florida dangerous to humans?
While not all species of land crab in Florida are poisonous, some can harm humans, such as the Florida stone crab. These crabs are known for their strong claws, which can break human fingers. It is best to avoid touching or capturing these creatures. Instead, keep a distance and capture the experience through photos and videos. Show more
How do land crabs migrate towards saltwater bodies for their eggs?
After laying eggs, female land crabs move to the nearest saltwater source to release them. They often begin migration at dusk and continue through the morning. Unfortunately, many crabs are crushed on roads due to traffic and driving speed. It is recommended to drive with care and alert wildlife authorities if needed. Show more
Can the invasive land crab species be eaten?
Although some land crabs are edible, the invasive species found in Florida, including the blue land crab, are not abundant for human consumption and can be challenging to catch. Some species also cause paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP), making them hazardous to consume. It is best to appreciate the natural exhibit and respect their vital role in the ecosystem. Show more