Red Land Crab
There are an estimated 45 million Red land crabs on Christmas Island.
A large, red crab with a rounded carapace. Claws are equal in size. Males are usually larger than females. Females have a broader abdomen than males.
Rainforest, coastal shore terraces and urban gardens.
They are found only on Christmas Island.
Feeding and diet
The land crabs are a key species in the forest ecology. Their diet consists of leaves, fruits, flowers and seedlings and will occasionally eat dead birds and crabs.
Every Oct to Dec they leave the forest on mass and journey to the nearest beach to breed. The timing on the annual migrations is linked to the lunar cycle so that the female crabs can release their eggs into the sea precisely at the turn of the high tide during the last quarter of the moon. The crabs use the same routes from the forest to the coast and back again every year. In some years the streets of Christmas Island are turned into a sea of red with millions of baby land crabs moving into the forests.