Giant Land Crabs
The land crab (Cardisoma guanhumi) is a common inhabitant of the Keys and anyone who drives down our remote roads may catch a glimpse of one or more scurrying across. This land crab is terrestrial but returns periodically to the sea to reproduce. They come out mainly at night to feed on just about anything they can find. Being a scavenger-type feeder, they will feed on rotting fish, garbage scraps, fruit, or in their burrows of a passing tree root. This crab is found in Bermuda and occurs throughout much of the coastline of South Florida. In addition, it is found from the Texas coast to Brazil.
The crab is edible. The meat is reported to be sweet, white, and closely resembling that of the popular blue crab. A simple Caribbean recipe calls for boiling the crab with various seasonings.
We frequently receive inquiries from Keys residents on what to do about the land crabs that are building burrows in their yard, and how to get rid of them. One method is to go out with a flashlight at night, net in hand, and scoop them up! Be sure to follow the recreational blue land crab regulations listed on the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission website.
Listed below are links you may find useful:
Environmental Horticulture Agent
- Entomology and Nematology Department
- Environmental Horticulture Department
- Extension Soil Testing Laboratory
- Florida-Friendly Landscaping
- Florida Yards & Neighbors
- Gardening in a Minute
- Horticultural Sciences Department
- IPM Florida
- Living Green
- Pesticide Information Office
- Plant Pathology Department
- Soil and Water Science Department