Horseshoe Crab (Limulus polyphemus)

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Horseshoe Crab

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Atlantic Horseshoe Crab

Limulus polyphemus

681 Litres (180 US G.)

20.32-60.96 cm (8-24")


8.1 - 8.5

3 -26 °C (37.4-78.8°F)

10-15 °d

1:1 M:F

Pellet Foods
Flake Foods
Live Foods
Other (See article)

20-40 years

This animal is available captive bred

Alternative names[edit]

Atlantic Horseshoe Crab, Horsefoot Crab, King Crab, Pan Crab


Across the Atlantic coast, but occasionally stray ones can be found in Europe.


Males are 1/3 the size of females, which grow up to 2 feet.

Tank compatibility[edit]

Peaceful, but has a tendency to bulldoze objects, including invertebrates on the substrate. Keep that in mind when setting up the Environment to house them.


Omnivorous; will scavenge, or hunt sand dwelling organisms like mollusks, and worms. Will willingly eat any foods given to them.

Feeding regime[edit]


Environment Specifics[edit]

Best kept in a spacious environment for it to move around in.


Can knock over objects, as well as invertebrates, placed in the substrate. A spacious environment is ideal.


Large crab-like animal with a roughly horseshoe-shaped shell and a long, straight tail spine. The underside is equipped with numerous legs, with the male's hind legs modified for gripping onto females during mating.


  • When the crabs spawn, they congregate on the beach in masses. The males find a female, and ride on top of them until they reach a spot to lay eggs in. The eggs provide an important source of nourishment for seabirds, alligators, sea turtles, and fish.
  • This species is so adaptable, it can be found from the cold waters of Northern Canada to the tropical waters of Florida, the Caribbean, and the Yucatan peninsula.


External links[edit]