Report sightings of blue land crabs

Invasive blue land crabs are spreading along the SC coast. (Picture by Erin Weeks/SCDNR)

Invasive crabs being spotted in South Carolina

Residents and visitors along the South Carolina coast have been seeing growing numbers of what look like enormous fiddler crabs, according to SCDNR biologists. But these creatures are blue land crabs, native from Brazil to South Florida, but seen only occasionally in South Carolina until recently

Anyone seeing one of these crabs is encouraged to snap a photo and report the sighting to SCDNR.

The agency does not yet know the extent of the crab’s distribution throughout the state. And it’s also unclear what impact these creatures are having, or will have, on other wildlife and the environment.

Their name is a bit deceiving. Blue land crabs actually vary widely in color. They live unusually long lives and can survive as long as 11 years.

These are burrowing crabs, retreating deep below the ground, aiding the difficulty in catching them. Wildlife biologists aren’t sure if they’ve expanded their range naturally, or if they have been released here by humans.

Blue land crabs may be more visible during periods of heavy rain, when they are driven out of their burrows by high water. If you see one, report the sighting by visiting, then searching for blue land crab.

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