Common Name: Purple Moon Crab
Scientific Name: Gecarcinus quadratus
Adult Size: 2" to 4" Body Width
Distribution: Costa Rica
Purple Moon crabs may pinch fingers if threatened. DO NOT HANDLE. They can be kept in small colonies.Purple Moon crabs are indigenous to coastal regions.
An adult Purple Moon Crab will require at least a 10-gallon aquarium. Suitable substrates for Purple Moon Crabs are reptile bark, sand, and reptile soil mixes. Provide branches or cork bark for climbing and hiding. You should use 6 inches of wet sand as the bottom layer, with a 6 to 12 inch layer of a sand/soil mixture on top of that. Make sure the lid is secure. Moon crabs are very good escape artists.
Provide a temperature range of 78-85"F during the day and in the mid to high 70's°F at night. This is necessary for the crabs metabolism and immune system to function properly. There are several methods for establishing the proper temperature range for your pet. Using spotlights of variable wattage incandescent bulbs on the outside of the enclosure, under tank heaters or any combination of these. When using spotlights for 24 hour heat use red, night bulbs or a ceramic heating element to maintain day / night light cycle. Never place lights inside the enclosure where the crab could come in contact with them and get burned. Use a thermometer to ensure proper temperature range is maintained.
While lighting is not required for purple moon crabs you can use 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness to help it cycle between day and night. You can optionally use full spectrum bulbs but they need to be placed less than 18" from your pet for maximum effect. Glass blocks ultraviolet light, and air circulation, therefore, it should never be used as a top for the enclosure. Using a timer is the best way to ensure that the proper amount of light is received.
Purple Moon crabs are scavengers. They will eat just about any thing.
Provide a small shallow bowl for drinking and soaking, and also mist the enclosure every other day for moisture and moderate humidity.
NOTE: This care sheet is a general guide, to learn more about your pet consult a book about it.