Coconut Crab

(Birgus latro)

Also known as the robber crab or the palm thief. is a large species of terrestrial hermit crab it can grow up to 9 pounds and 1m from tip to tip and can live up to 60 years , they are found on several islands in the middle of the Indian Ocean notable Christmas Island. it is the only species in the genus Birgus. they cannot swim and will drown if put in water which is a big problem for them as they lay their eggs in water. they eat coconuts (thus the name) fruits and nuts but will eat meat if given the chance. there are two morphs a reddish morph and a blue morph. there pinch is very painful and they will not loosen it’s hold. they are also known for a very very good sense of smell




Coconut Crab - Birgus latro

The huge Coconut Crab, Birgus latro (Decapoda - Coenobitidae), holds the reputation of being the largest terrestrial arthropod in the world, and with good reason, described by Darwin as “monstrous”, Brigus latro can reach up to 1 m from leg tip to leg tip.

Despite being a hermit crab, the Coconut Crab differs from the other members of its family in that it does not inhabit a gastropod shell as an adult. Only the very small coconut crab juveniles find and use gastropod shells to protect their soft-skinned abdomen as they develop. Larger juveniles abandon the shell-carrying habit and instead an increase in calcification of the abdominal integument and a decrease in the surface-to-volume ratio of the body help the adult individual to minimize water loss. In addition, this crab can secrete into the branchial chambers a material that forms a mucus-like fluid, capable of resisting evaporation.

This crustacean has large muscular claws which are used for husking coconuts and opening the shell to eat the flesh. This is a unique behavior amongst crabs and explains why this species is called the Coconut Crab. 

Birgus latro is widely distributed throughout the western Pacific and eastern Indian Oceans, occurring almost exclusively on oceanic islands or small offshore islets adjacent to large continental islands.

Also known as Palm Thief, and Robber Crab, throughout its range the coconut crab is considered a highly desirable food item among local populations. On islands uninhabited by man, the coconut crab is among the largest of terrestrial animals and is relatively free of predators. On islands with human populations, crabs are harvested for food and are less abundant than on comparable islands where man is not present.

References: [1] - [2] - [3] - [4]

Photo credit: [Top: ©Oliver Wu | Locality: Kurimajima, Miyakojima, Okinawa, Japan, 2012] - [Middle: ©Bruce Thomson | Locality: Port Vila, Vanuatu, 2009] - [Bottom: source]



Birgus latro also known as the coconut crab is the largest terrestrial arthropod in the world. They can grow up to a leg span of 3 ft. It sometimes takes 120 years to reach it’s full size. It’s also known as the robber crab due to its propensity for stealing silverware and pots and pans.

They are endemic to islands in the Pacific & Indian ocean. The coconut crab eats anything it can get its claws on. It’ll go after fruit, vegetation, and carrion: dead birds and other coconut crabs. It really loves coconuts & will use it’s massive pinchers to crack one open. 

While you might perceive them as a threat because of it’s size, humans are a larger threat to this species. Human encroachment has thrown their food chains into chaos and they are disappearing rapidly. (Source) (Japanese Spider Crab)

Birgus Latro, the coconut crab, otherwise known as the palm theif or robber crab. The largest land arthropod in the world,  it is actually a very large species of hermit crab, which after maturing grows a hard carapace and loses a need for a shell. It bears its name for its love for coconuts, being known to crack them open with its claws.

BONELUST PERSONAL COLLECTION: Dry preserved Coconut Crab on real coconut display. A bit beat up and not complete because he had a natural death but I still love it.

The coconut crab, Birgus latro, is a species of terrestrial hermit crab, also known as the robber crab, ganjo crab or palm thief. It is the largest land-living arthropod in the world, and is probably at the upper size limit for terrestrial animals with exoskeletons in recent Earth atmosphere, with a weight of up to 4.1 kg (9.0 lb). It can grow to up to 1 m (3 ft) in length from leg to leg. It is found on islands across the Indian Ocean and parts of the Pacific Ocean as far east as the Gambier Islands, mirroring the distribution of the coconut palm.

Adult coconut crabs feed on fruits, nuts, seeds, and the pith of fallen trees, but will eat carrion and other organic matter opportunistically. The species is popularly associated with the coconut, and has been widely reported to climb trees to pick coconuts, which it then opens to eat the flesh. While coconut crabs can climb trees, and can eventually open a coconut collectively, coconuts are not a significant part of their diet. More - http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coconut_crab (at http://bone-lust.blogspot.com)

Birgu, Malta.
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Overheard in Birgu
  • Mama:What would you say the highlight of the trip has been for you so far?
  • Jane:I don't know. It's all been pretty good.
  • Mama:Indulge me.
  • Jane:In that case, when you had to admit that you were wrong after that massive argument yesterday.
  • Mama:That's not nice.
  • Jane:True. But it's still a highlight.
Malta - pielgrzymka śladami św. Pawła



Program ramowy:

DZIEŃ 1: Spotkanie na lotnisku międzynarodowym w Warszawie. Wylot na Maltę samolotem rejsowym Maltańskich Linii Lotniczych. Przylot do Valletty. Obiadokolacja i nocleg w hotelu Primera.

DZIEŃ 2: SENGLEA – VITTORIOSA – COSPICUA Śniadanie. Wyjazd na całodzienną wycieczkę po historycznych miejscach na Malcie: SENGLEA – Vedette – najpiękniejszy punkt widokowy. VITTORIOSA - Birgu – miasteczko, w którym rezydowali rycerze zakonni. COSPICUA – kolegiata NMP Niepokalanego Poczęcia. Obiadokolacja i Nocleg w hotelu.

DZIEŃ 3: VALLETTA Śniadanie. Zwiedzanie VALLETTY – stolicy Malty - (najmniejsza stolica europejska, położona na półwyspie SCIBERRAS pomiędzy dwiema zatokami Grand HARBOUR i Marsamxett): Górne Ogrody, Katedra Św. Jana (gdzie znajduje się jedno z najsłynniejszych dzieł Caravaggio - Ścięcie Św. Jana), Kościół Św. Pawła, Pałac wielkich mistrzów (w którym znajdują się jego relikwie). Obiadokolacja i nocleg w hotelu.

DZIEŃ 4: VALLETTA - MEDINA Śniadanie. Dalsze zwiedzanie wyspy: miasto rabat – kościół farny Św. Pawła), Grota Św. Pawła. Następnie przejazd do MEDINY – spacer urokliwymi wąskimi uliczkami pełnymi kamienic maltańskich arystokratów, Katedry Św. Pawła. Miasto uzyskało nazwę miasta ciszy, jest to dawna stolica Malty, położona w centralnej części wyspy. Miasto położone na wzgórzu skąd roztacza się szeroki widok na wyspę. Obiadokolacja i nocleg w hotelu.

DZIEŃ 5: SYCYLIA Śniadanie. Wycieczka fakultatywna na Sycylię (koszt 125,- EUR; przejazd promem na Sycylię, następnie autokarem zwiedzanie południowej części wyspy, łącznie z wulkanem Etna) lub czas wolny na plażowanie. Ewentualnie dla chętnych inna atrakcja lokalna. Obiadokolacja i nocleg w hotelu.

DZIEŃ 6: WYSPA GOZO Śniadanie. Wyjazd na wyspę Gozo - prehistoryczne świątynie Ggantija, Lazurowe Okno, Skała Grzyb, Wewnętrzne Okno, Sanktuarium Matki Bożej Ta’Pinu (jedno z najważniejszych miejsc pielgrzymkowych wyspy), Victoria – stolica wyspy, Xlendi – Kościół Matki Bożej z Góry Karmel). Obiadokolacja i nocleg w hotelu.

DZIEŃ 7: WYSPA GOZO Śniadanie. Czas wolny na plażowanie i ostatnie zakupy. Obiadokolacja i nocleg w hotelu.

DZIEŃ 8: Śniadanie. Transfer na lotnisko w Valletcie. Lot samolotem rejsowym do Warszawy. Powrót na miejsce zbiórki.

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Fort Saint Angelo, at the entrance to Grand Harbour in Birgu, Malta, once the seat of the Grand Master of the Knights of Malta

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