Horseshoe Crab

Picture of Horseshoe Crab

Description of the Horseshoe Crab

The Horseshoe Crab is also commonly known as the Helmet crab, Saucepan or Horsefoot! Although called a crab, they are in fact more closely related to Ticks, Scorpions and Spiders! They are named after the shape of their shell or carapace and are not true crabs. There are four species of horseshoe crabs:

- Limulus polyphemus (Atlantic horseshoe crab)
- Carcinoscorpius rotundicauda (Mangrove horseshoe crab)
- Tachypleus gigas
- Tachypleus tridentatus

Picture of a Horseshoe Crab

Horseshoe Crab

Facts - Information - Picture

Popular Name: Horseshoe Crab

Profile of the Horseshoe Crab
This Profile contains interesting facts and information about the Horseshoe Crab species.

  • Fish Tank conditions: PH 8.0 to 8.4

  • Diet / Feeding: Small crustaceans, Worms

  • Habitat: Bottom dwellers

  • Range: Northern Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico

Scientific Classification of the Horseshoe Crab
Definition: Scientific classification, or biological classification, is how biologists group and categorize species of organisms with shared physical characteristics. Scientific classification belongs to the science of taxonomy.

  • Species: Carcinoscorpius rotundicauda, Limulus polyphemus, Tachypleus gigas, Tachypleus tridentatus

  • Popular Name: Horseshoe Crab - Atlantic Horseshoe Crab - Mangrove Horseshoe Crab

  • Kingdom: Animalia

  • Phylum: Arthropoda

  • Class: Merostomata

  • Order: Xiphosurida

  • Family: Limulidae

Interesting Facts and Information - How do you identify the sex of a Horseshoe Crab?
The males and females of many fish species have different colors or different shaped bodies. But there are also other fish species where there is no visible difference. Its sometimes tricky being an ichthyologist! The female horseshoe crab however  is larger than the male.

 

Interesting Facts and Information - Why do Horseshoe Crab have gills?
Gills enable the Horseshoe Crab to breathe. Gills consist of thin sheets of tissue containing blood vessels. As water passes over the gills oxygen is absorbed into the blood stream Carbon dioxide passes out into the water. The gills are protected by a large bony plate called an operculum. Some fish species however have lungs and breathe air.


Interesting Facts and Information - Why is the Horseshoe Crab called an Arthropod?
An Arthropod is an invertebrate animal (without a backbone) that has a segmented body with jointed limbs (appendages). True crabs are Decapod Crustaceans. Some species such as Hermit crabs, Porcelain crabs King crabs and Horseshoe crabs are not true crabs!  Decapod Crustaceans have five pairs of legs, the first three are used for feeding. At the end of the limbs are the chelae which is the correct term for pincers or claws.

Interesting Facts and Information about Horseshoe Crab

Horseshoe Crab

  • Interesting Information about Horseshoe Crab

  • Facts about Fish Species - What are Crustaceans?

  • Why do the Crustaceans have an exoskeleton (external skeleton)?

  • Facts about Fish Species - Why are Crustaceans called Arthropods?

  • Species: Carcinoscorpius rotundicauda, Limulus polyphemus, Tachypleus gigas, Tachypleus tridentatus

Fish Species

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