Fun Horned Ghost Crab Facts For Kids

Chandrayan Choudhury
Oct 20, 2022 By Chandrayan Choudhury
Originally Published on Aug 31, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Read in some amazing horned ghost crab facts
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.7 Min

Horned ghost crab species are commonly found across the Indo-Pacific coastal areas, mainly near the shore. They are average-sized crabs species that have a box-like body that grows in length for around 2.4–3.1 in (6-8 cm).

They have a pale blue-gray-colored body that is made up of strong shells. They have six legs which supply them with great speed.

They are considered as one of the fasted crabs species on the beach. In the terrestrial environment, they live in burrows that they dig in wet sand to keep their gills wet, and a burrow can be around 3.3-4.9 ft (1-1.5 m) deep.

They come out of their burrows at night time in search of food and roam around the shore. They are, in short, one of the wonderful creatures that inhabit this world.

This was only the introduction part. More interesting and funny facts about the horned ghost crabs are waiting in the upcoming sections. So keep reading!

For more relatable content, visit our pages on spider crab facts and blue crab facts for kids.

Horned Ghost Crab Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a horned ghost crab?

The horned ghost crab (Ocypode ceratophthalmus) is a type of crab. It is also known as a horn-eyed ghost crab and can be found on the Indian and Pacific Ocean coasts.

What class of animal does a horned ghost crab belong to?

Horn-eyed ghost crab belongs to the class Malacostraca. It belongs to the order Decapoda, family Ocypodidae and genus Ocypodinae. The binomial nomenclature of this species is Ocypodinae ceratophthalmus, also known as Ocypode ceratophthalmus.

How many horned ghost crabs are there in the world?

Horn-eyed ghost crab (Ocypode ceratophthalmus) species are not considered in any section of the conservation category. There is no information available on how many horn-eyed ghost crab species inhabit this world. There are around 20 species of ghost crabs around the world.

Where does a horned ghost crab live?

Horn-eyed ghost crab (Ocypode ceratophthalma) species live in the coastal areas, mainly on beaches and surrounding areas. They make their burrow on sandy shores, which are in contact with water.

What is a horned ghost crab's habitat?

Horned ghost crabs (Ocypode ceratophthalmus) are commonly found on the sandy beaches of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Other than the coastal areas, they are also found in islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Some places where they can be found are Japan, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Philippines, Seychelles, Singapore, Somalia, India, China, Britain, and Australia.

Who does horned ghost crab live with?

Horned ghost crab (Ocypode ceratophthalmus) are mostly solitary species that live alone in the Indo-Pacific coastal regions and islands.

How long does a horned ghost crab live?

It is still not known that how long a horned ghost crab (Ocypode ceratophthalmus) lives. However, average ghost crabs live for around three years.

How do they reproduce?

Ghost crab (Ocypode ceratophthalma) species are somewhat monogamous and breed throughout the year. For breeding, males attract females by performing tricks, and if they are convinced, females enter the burrows of males.

Breeding happens in burrows especially. While mating, males insert a fluid along with sperm to harden their eggs so that other males can't really fertilize their eggs. Females carry thousands of eggs in them.

After fertilization, when the eggs are ready to be hatched, female crabs release them into the sea. Their larvae develop in the sea and return back to the shores after around two to two and a half months.

What is their conservation status?

Horned ghost crabs (Ocypode ceratophthalma) are not included under any category of the conservation status scale. They occur in enough numbers in the Indo-Pacific coastal regions. This species is not under any threat and does not need conservation also. The IUCN has Not Evaluated them yet.

Horned Ghost Crab Fun Facts

What does horned ghost crab look like?

Horned ghost crabs (Ocypode ceratophthalma) have a box-like body and live in burrows that they dig in the sand surface. Horned ghost crabs are small animals that are bluish-gray colored with H-shaped brown marks on their back.

Over their box-like body, there are two eyes, and over those eyes, there are two horn-like structure which contributes to their name. The male horns are longer compared to females.

These marine species have two claws which are strong and rough. The claws are strong enough to break clams and dig deep into the sand. The claws are almost white in color and pointed at the front.

The legs are not too thin and are perfect-looking. The legs resemble the color of their body and are pointed towards the end.

They have strong legs built for great speed, making them one of the fastest crabs. The eyes on their body are large and foldable.

When they enter into their burrows, they fold their eyes and take them near their body in order to save it from harsh sand scratches. Horn-eyed ghost crabs can survive out of a marine environment for a long time. Usually, they burrow in wet sand in order to wet their gills.

They have hair-like structures on their legs through which they suck saltwater from the sand. Their bodies can vary in size.

They have a habit of suppressing similar species with smaller bodies. Their body size can vary between 2.4–3.1 in (6-8 cm).

Horned ghost crabs are more active during the night

How cute are they?

Horned ghost crabs are not that cute or adorable. They are exotic-looking crabs that are found on Indo-Pacific beaches.

How do they communicate?

Horned ghost crabs, like any ghost crab, communicate through body language or by making a rough 'krrr krrr' sound. This sound can be heard near their burrows. When they sense any danger, they just lift their legs and increase their body size.

How big is a horned ghost crab?

Horned ghost crabs are average-sized crabs that are commonly seen on beaches. They dig deep into the wet sand and live there. Their body size can vary between 2.4–3.1 in (6-8 cm).

How fast can a horned ghost crab move?

Horned ghost crabs are one of the fastest moving crabs on beaches. They are most active during nighttime and can be seen openly walking on the beach. In terrestrial habitats, they can run at a speed of 4.7 mph (7.5 kph).

How much does a horned ghost crab weigh?

There is no information present on how much they weigh. They are average-sized crabs whose body size is estimated between 2.4–3.1 in (6-8 cm) long.

What are the male and female names of the species?

No, there are no specific names given to the male or female horned ghost crabs. Both sexes have similar-looking bodies and claws.

The horns over the eyes in females are comparatively smaller than males. There is a chance for different males to fertilize a female, so their partner inserts a special fluid along with sperm to harden the eggs so that other males can't fertilize them.

What would you call a baby horned ghost crab?

Baby crabs are actually called zoea larvae but can simply be call baby crabs, too. Baby crabs of this species are generally pale-looking and are devoid of the horns over the surface of their eyes.

What do they eat?

Horned ghost crabs are commonly seen walking on the beach in search of snails, giant clams, lizards, and small crabs. They are scavengers who eat on dead animals, too. The phenomenon of cannibalism is also seen in this crab species, where they eat their own species also.

Are they poisonous?

No, horned ghost crabs are not poisonous, and humans can safely eat them. But they can hurt humans by pinching them if they try to disturb them.

Would they make a good pet?

Horned ghost crabs are 'temporary good' pets. Keeping them as pets is too much though. They need big spaces for walking, saltwater to keep them hydrated, and sand to dig in. Still, a lot of people keep them as pets.

Did you know...

Ghost crabs are not endemic and can be found commonly on the Indo-Pacific shore areas.

Why are they called ghost crabs?

Ghost crabs most probably got their name because of their ability to disappear instantly from sight, just like a ghost. They can quickly dig into the sand or just run from the place. They are a very agile species.

How many eggs do horned ghost crabs lay?

There is no exact answer to this question. Female ghost crabs carry thousands of eggs that, after fertilizing, are released into the sea. Now, these eggs most probably face predation, and after that, the amount that survives develops into crabs.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these giant water bug facts and mud dauber wasp facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable crab coloring pages.

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Written by Chandrayan Choudhury

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Language and Literature

Chandrayan Choudhury picture

Chandrayan ChoudhuryBachelor of Arts specializing in English Language and Literature

Skilled content writer Chandrayan has a passion for producing compelling and engaging content. With an excellent command of the English language and a talent for research and proofreading, Chandrayan has honed his skills through years of experience in the industry. Chandrayan is currently pursuing a Bachelor's degree in English Language and Literature from Tripura University, demonstrating his dedication to the craft of writing. 

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