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Monitoring Program

New fiddler crab species increasingly present in the GCE domain

The fiddler crab Leptuca thayeri, commonly known as the mangrove fiddler crab, is moving into our domain from Florida. It has been observed off and on in coastal Georgia for a few years. This summer it is present at several sites within the GCE domain. It is a large fiddler crab (bigger than Minuca minax), with a distinctive orange-red coloration, that prefers the lower edge of the Spartina alterniflora zone.  

This means we now have four species of fiddler crabs in our domain. Because this species is so large, it may have interesting ecological effects. It joins the mangrove crab, Aratus pisonii, as another Florida native moving North into Georgia due to global warming.

If you're used to "Uca", I'm sorry to break the news that the taxonomists have been up to their usual tricks. The revised nomenclature is Minuca minax, Minuca pugnax, and Leptuca pugilator.


Leptuca thayeri is now here!

(Contact Steve Pennings for additional information)

submitted Jun 27, 2023


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under grants OCE-9982133, OCE-0620959, OCE-1237140 and OCE-1832178. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.