What do crabs eat?

In this short article, we will answer the question “What do crabs eat?” and will discuss how humans can eat them.

What do crabs eat?

There are numerous species of crabs, and they all have unique feeding habits. Some animals are categorised as herbivores, whereas others are carnivores and, among other things, eat invertebrates and fish. 

Additionally, there are carrion species that eat decomposing corpses and omnivorous species.

Although it prefers to eat plants, the guaiamum (Cardisoma guanhumi) can also consume insects, and dead animals, and even engage in cannibalism when food is in short supply. The mangrove’s leaves and seeds are eaten by the uçá crab (Ucides cordatus).

What exactly is a crab?

A member of the arthropod group, namely the crustacean group, the crab is an invertebrate animal. Even though numerous crustaceans go by the moniker “crab,” only those of the infraorder Brachyura are actually considered to be authentic crabs. 

True crabs come in approximately 6500 different species.  The crab differs from lobsters and shrimp by having two sets of antennae and locomotor legs located in the thorax.

Crabs are ten-legged crustaceans known as decapods. It is possible to see that the two front legs of crabs have been changed to include pincers that are utilised for both defence and food capture. Fighting for females also involves the use of pincers.

Crabs have a calcium carbonate-hardened cuticle that forms a protective shell against predators. The body appears flattened and rounded, and the carapace is large. Their cephalothorax fits beneath their shrunken abdomen.

The style of locomotion, which typically involves lateral movement, is striking. It is important to note that although crabs can occasionally slowly crawl forward, they usually travel laterally to move more quickly. Crabs don’t typically swim. 

Typically, when we discuss crabs, we think of the marine species. However, in addition to the marine environment, they can also be seen in freshwater and on land.

The guaiamum crab is one of the most popular kinds of crab in Brazil (Cardisoma guanhumi). The species is seen in tropical areas along the Atlantic coast, where it can be found in estuaries and mangrove areas where it digs tunnels.

Crabs are sexually reproducing creatures, and depending on the species under study, specific characteristics can be seen. Crabs are known to walk as they emerge from their tunnels and move across the mud. The competition for women among men then starts.

The article further states that after opening their abdomens, both sexes stand in front of one another. After that, mating occurs when the male inserts his reproductive system into the female’s vaginal opening. 

The egg mass, which is trapped in the female’s abdomen until the eggs hatch, is externalised. The female uçá crab is capable of laying up to 183,936 eggs during a single spawn.

What is the status of the human-crab relationship?

Crabs are a popular species in coastal cuisine and are invertebrate organisms of significant economic value to humans. The guaiamum is a species that is used as human food and is a prized ingredient.

Crabs are an excellent source of energy because they are highly nutritious, it is vital to remember. However, because many crustaceans can induce allergic reactions in some people, it is crucial to exercise caution when eating them.

How to cook crab?

See below how to cook crab:


  • 1 kg of crab
  • 8 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 pieces of onion in slices
  • 2 slices of tomato in slices
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1/4 bunch of chopped parsley
  • 1/2 bunch of chopped leek
  • 1/2 cup cilantro (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup (tea) of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon of pepper sauce
  • 1 can of tomato sauce
  • 1 can of beer
  • salt to taste

Method of preparation:

  1. Boil the crabs with water until they start to redden, throw the water away and reserve the crabs, do not cook too much, the final cooking is with the sauce.
  2. Assembling the pan for the final cooking, with the pre-cooked crabs we will arrange them in layers along with the ingredients.
  3. Place a layer of crab, one of onion, one of the peppers, one of tomato, parsley, leek and cilantro, alternate the layers until the pan is full, cover the pan and wait for the sauce.
  4. In another pan, we will make the sauce, sauté the garlic, oil, tomato sauce, pepper and 2 litres of water and salt to taste and let it boil for 20 minutes.
  5. Put the crabs in the pan on the fire and add the sauce while it is still hot.
  6. Add half of the beer and after 15 min the rest.
  7. Leave to simmer for another 40 minutes and taste the sauce.
  8. Do not let the sauce thicken too much, when the crab is running out, make a broth or mush with the sauce.


In this short article, we answered the question “What do crabs eat?” and discussed how humans can eat them.


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