Candy Crab Facts


Candy crab or Hoplophrys oatesi is a soft coral crab which is named after its very beautiful appearance.

This crab species can camouflage itself by mimicking the colors of the coral reef and attaching coral polyps onto its carapace.

A candy crab can be referred to by many other names such as commensal soft coral crab, Oates's soft coral crab, and Dendronephthya crab. In addition to camouflage, Hoplophrys oatesi is also characterized by its four legs, small carapace, and tiny claws at the end of the front limbs. Keep reading to know more about Hoplophrys oatesi or candy crabs!

Candy Crab Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a candy crab?

As the name suggests, candy crab is a king of soft coral crab which is abundantly found in the Indo-Pacific regions of the world.

What class of animal does a candy crab belong to?

In scientific terms, the name of the class to which the candy crab species belongs is Molocostraca. However, they may just as easily be classified as true crabs based on their characteristics.

How many candy crabs are there in the world?

The exact population strength of the candy crab species is yet to be known. This is because Hoplophrys oatesi is not a particularly easy crab species to spot in the ocean. These crabs have great camouflage skills, which is one of the many reasons why we do not know how many candy crabs there are in the world. However, experts believe that they are available in abundance!

Where does a candy crab live?

Candy crab or Dendronephthya crab can be found on coral reefs. They attach polyps to themselves in an attempt of becoming a part of the coral reed itself, which is why it is very tough to spot a candy crab!

What is a candy crab's habitat?

The habitat range of Dendronephthya crab is very extensive. It is predominantly found in the Indo-Pacific, around places like Japan, Fiji, and Indonesia. However, this coral-loving species is also common along the coasts of North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.

Who does a candy crab live with?

The social nature of the Dendronephthya crab (Hoplophrys oatesi) is not exactly clear. It becomes difficult to observe these crabs in their natural habitat, since they take up the color of the coral that they live on.

How long does a candy crab live?

The average lifespan of candy crab or dendronephthya crab (Hoplophrys oatesi) is unknown to us due to a lack of research in the area.

How do they reproduce?

Candy crab reproduction resembles that of true crabs. This means that However, there is hardly any evidence regarding the matter.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of candy crabs (Hoplophrys oatesi) remains Not Evaluated by the IUCN Red List. This leads to assumptions that these coral-colored crabs are found in large numbers in the coral reefs of the world.

Candy Crab Fun Facts

What do candy crabs look like?

The Dendronephthya crab, Oates's soft coral crab, or commensal soft coral crab is named after its appearance most commonly known as candy crab around the world, a description of the physical appearance of this species of soft coral crab would be incomplete without mentioning its spiky, multi-colored body. This crab attaches coral polyps to its carapace as a way of merging itself with its surroundings.

This species of soft coral crab has four legs. The front legs have claws that help in tearing and attaching polyps to the carapace and in acquiring planktons from the coral reefs. This is done to assist in the camouflage of the species.

Hoplophrys oatesi is a species of soft coral crabs!


How cute are they?

The description of the physical characteristics of the commensal soft coral crab makes draws an impeccably cute picture. The coral, pink, yellow, and white colors of the crab's body make it one of the wondrous creatures that live in the oceans.

How do they communicate?

While most crabs communicate through rubbing or clinking their body parts together, there is no scientific description of the way in which each commensal soft coral crab would communicate in its natural habitat.

How big is a candy crab?

The body of the Oates's soft coral crab has an average length of 0.5-0.7 in (1.5-2 cm).

How fast can a candy crab move?

Unfortunately, there is no scientific evidence to show the speed at which a candy crab or Oates's soft coral crab can move on the coral reefs!

How much does a candy crab weigh?

There has been very little research regarding the commensal soft coral crab, which is why there is no information available regarding its weight. However, we cannot imagine that a crab of such small size would weigh too much!

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no special names for the males and females of this species of soft coral crabs. However, in general, a male crab is often referred to as Jimmy, while its female counterpart is called Jenny.

Another important thing to note here is that the commensal soft coral crab (Hoplophrys oatesi) shows sexual dimorphism. This essentially means that it is very difficult to tell the difference between the male and female Hoplophrys oatesi.

What would you call a baby candy crab?

There are no special names for the babies of this soft coral crab species.

What do they eat?

Candy crabs (Hoplophrys oatesi) share a mutually beneficial relationship with the coral reefs that they live on. They feed on the planktons that grow on the coral reef, and clear out any other unwanted matter in return. They also attach coral polyps onto their carapace for more efficient camouflage.

Are they dangerous?

Since this species of soft coral crab does not have much exposure to humans, it is hard to understand whether or not Hoplophrys oatesi would be dangerous. However, the vibrant colors of the species hardly convey a dangerous nature.

Would they make a good pet?

Since these crabs live on coral reefs and have such a dependency on them, it is unlikely that they would enjoy living as pets above the ground. These crabs also live at great depths of the ocean, which is one of the many reasons why they shouldn't be considered as great pet options.

Kidadl Advisory: All pets should only be bought from a reputable source. It is recommended that as a potential pet owner you carry out your own research prior to deciding on your pet of choice. Being a pet owner is very rewarding but it also involves commitment, time and money. Ensure that your pet choice complies with the legislation in your state and/or country. You must never take animals from the wild or disturb their habitat. Please check that the pet you are considering buying is not an endangered species, or listed on the CITES list, and has not been taken from the wild for the pet trade.

Did you know...

Hoplophrys oatesi is a soft coral crab species.

Its diet consists of plankton.

This crab occurs in vibrant colors.

The colors that it takes up mimic the coral reef around it.

Hoplophrys oatesi attaches coral polyps onto its carapace for better camouflage.

How does the candy crab camouflage itself?

Candy crabs have the great ability of changing their colors according to the hue of the coral reefs around them. They also attach polyps onto their carapace as a way of becoming indistinguishable from the surroundings!

Are candy crabs edible?

Candy crabs are edible and are loved by many people around the world. Since it is a soft coral crab and is sweet in taste, it also sometimes forms a part of sweet drinks!

*Please note that this is a picture of a hermit crab and not a candy crab. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of candy crab, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at [email protected].

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