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Arrow Crab

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Pros: Eats uneaten food, attractive look

Cons: May eat fish and inverts, such as damselfish and hermit crabs, may eat food not intended for it

The arrow somewhat resembles a spider, with long brown stiped legs, and claws with tips dipped purple or blue. They are called 'arrow crabs' due to the shape of their mantle, which is shaped like an arrowhead. Although attractive, they can be very destructive. They are diurnal and nocturnal, and will often prey on small, resting fish. They are also know to pull hermit crabs and snails out of shells, even large ones, such as electric blue hermits. They are nice additions to reef tanks that do not have many hermits and snails, or small fish, for they do not consume corals. Care should be taken when keeping an arrow crab.

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Arrow Crab
Description:

The Arrow Crab is brown in color with claws that are usually tipped in purple. They have a small triangular shaped body with a pointed head and long hinged legs. Their legs extend straight to keep predators at bay. Arrow Crabs are tremendous scavengers and are highly sought after for their diet of Bristle Worms and Flat Worms. They are very easy to care for and frequently found hiding in floating Sargassum in Florida and the Caribbean. Only one should be kept per tank and they should only be kept in larger tanks.Crabs belong to the Class Crustacea and Order Decapoda, which is characterized by two pair of antennae, three body parts, and five pairs of legs. The head of a Crab is connected to the thorax and covered by a shell called carapace. They have a smaller abdomen and tail compared to Shrimp and they keep this tucked beneath the carapace. The first pair of their legs are usually developed claws which they use to gather food, use as protection, and to move objects. In order for Crabs to grow they need to shed their exoskeleton, a process called "molting", which allows them to remove their restricting shell and begin a new one. Often times in the home aquarium Crabs will leave this translucent shell in full view so it can serve as a distraction while the Crab finds a hiding place and allows its new shell to harden.Photo by Saltwaterfish.com member, Isistius: Jeff Gartner

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