Mole Crab (Sand Flea)

They eat jellyfish tentacles
Mole Crab (Sand Flea) Scientific Classification
Scientific name
Emerita analoga, Emerita analoga, and others
Mole Crab (Sand Flea) Physical Characteristics
2 to 3 years
Mole Crab (Sand Flea) Distribition

They stick a little out of the sand and raise their antennae, producing a little V- form wave as the water declines.


The mole crab, or sand flea, is a decapod shellfish that stays in exotic or subtropical areas. They tunnel in the damp sand near the coastline wave- damaging area, producing little V- designed surges with their elevated antennae. These barrel- designed crabs are flawlessly fit to their atmosphere, filtering system microorganisms from the water and also preying on fatal arms. Discover all the interesting truths concerning the mole crab, consisting of where they live, what they eat, and just how they act.

Mole Crab Species, Kind, and Scientific Name

The mole crab ( Emerita) comes from the arthropod phylum in the Malacostraca class. Arthropods are invertebrate animals with exoskeletons, and the Malacostraca consists of over 40,000 shellfishes. It’s consisted of in the Decapoda order, together with crabs, lobsters, crayfish, shrimp, and prawns. Emerita is a little genus in the Hippidae family, including the mole crabs or sand crabs.

There are 10 acknowledged mole crab species:

  • Emerita analoga — western The United States and Canada and western South America
  • Emerita austroafricana — southeastern Africa and Madagascar
  • Emerita benedicti— Gulf of Mexico
  • Emerita brasiliensis — southeastern Brazil and northeastern Brazil
  • Emerita emeritus— south Asia and southeast Asia
  • Emerita holthuisi— western India, Persian Gulf, and Red Sea
  • Emerita karachiensis— Pakistan
  • Emerita portoricensis— Caribbean Sea
  • Emerita rathbunae— western Central America
  • Emerita talpoida— eastern The United States and Canada
  • Emerita asiatica — southerly India

Appearance: Exactly How to Determine Mole Crabs

Mole crabs are little shellfishes with barrel- designed bodies, determining 0.3 to 2 inches long, no larger than a human thumb. Females are usually a lot larger than males and have intense orange egg masses on their underbellies. Since grownups are sand- tinted, they assimilate well with their atmosphere. They have difficult exoskeletons with 5 collections of legs on their bottoms, which they make use of to relocate via the water, dig in the sand, and relocate in reverse. Nevertheless, they can not stroll on completely dry sand. They likewise have downy antennae, which assist them eat, and gills to endure in the water (like various other shellfishes). Situated on their underbelly is the “miner,” which safeguards their eggs, starts excavating, and supports them in the sand.

A type of sand crab, a mole crab, with hundreds of egg in the palm of a hand.
Female mole crabs are usually a lot larger than males and have intense orange egg masses on their underbellies. jess311


The sand flea is an exceptional burrower, covering itself in the sand in 1.5 secs. They tunnel tail initially and remain in the wave- damaging area, turning as the trend ups and downs. In the springtime, they develop nests in the “Swash area,” where the waves add the coastline, and start breeding. They stick a little out of the sand and raise their antennae, producing a little V- form surge as the water declines.

Environment: Where to Locate Mole Crabs

The mole crab genus has a wide variety yet mainly populates exotic and subtropical coastlines on 5 continents, consisting of The United States and Canada, South America, Africa, Australia, and Asia. Specific species are limited to details areas and hardly ever overlap. They are discovered on both coastlines of the USA, western Central America, South America, along Africa’s Atlantic Shore, and throughout Indo- Pacific Asia. Search for them in the damp sand at the water’s side at several coastlines. Search for the unique V- form waves as the water declines; they are usually in sand flea nests.

Diet: What Do Mole Crabs Eat?

Mole crabs eat plankton and various other little sea microorganisms. When tunneling in the sand, they stick their antennae out and filter sediment (dead natural product) from the swash. They utilize their downy antennae to channel bits right into their mouths. These animals are the best instance of an animal adapting to its atmosphere. Surprisingly, this shellfish can likewise eat fatal Portuguese male- o’ battle arms.


Their reproductive system ranges from February via October yet will certainly differ by area. Females generate one clutch on a monthly basis, and each clutch has as much as 45,000 eggs! The mass is intense orange, and the eggs take about one month to create, transforming brownish soon prior to hatching out. They hatch out throughout high trend and start their life drifting via the sea as larvae. They are juveniles 3 to 6 months later on when they deplete ashore and sign up with older mole crabs hidden in the sand. These arthropods can recreate within their very first year and have a brief life expectancy of just a couple of years.

What Intimidates the Mole Crab?

Their major predators are fish, birds, and humans. Mole crabs are a necessary food resource for the prevented surfperch on the eastern Pacific Sea, and seabirds are a hazard throughout their array. Anglers make use of sand fleas as lure, excavating them up and keeping them for later on. You can likewise acquire these crabs from several lure stores. Like various other shelled microorganisms, mole crabs are prone to the hazard of sea acidification, a chemical adjustment in the water linked to co2 degrees.


  1. Fishing Destin Guide, Available here:
  2. Chicago Journals, Available here:
  3. Web Archive, Available here:
  4., Available here:

Relate animals

Abyssinian Guinea Pig

They are one of the oldest breeds of guinea pig

Ackie Monitor

The ackie monitor has a spiny tail which it uses as in self-defense.


The Albertonectes had the longest neck out of other Elasmosaurids.

American Bully

Though the American bully was bred to look intimidating, it makes an extremely friendly family pet!

Latest Animal News