The Mandarin Vampire Crab is a fascinating semi-terrestrial species that is beautifully marked. It is communal with its own species and is an excellent choice for the paludarium, even nano-sized enclosures!
The Mandarin Vampire Crab (Geosesarma notophorum) is a small, very colorful, semi-terrestrial species that is native to Java, Indonesia. It inhabits forest areas near streams, rivers, and ponds. It spends most of its time on land, but also often submerges in freshwater, including when it molts. It is communal with its own species, and males typically are larger than females, and also have much larger claws.
In nature, the Mandarin Vampire Crab lives in leaf litter and vegetation. In the paludarium, it requires ample land area. It typically will not eat healthy plants, but it will often help keep them clean and it may consume dead leaves. Like most crabs, it needs plenty of cover, especially when molting, so lots of decor is necessary. While it is communal with its own species, it is often aggressive with other types of crabs, including other vampire crab species with which it competes in the wild. It is a skilled climber, so extra care must be taken to ensure that it does not escape its enclosure.
Like most crabs, the Mandarin Vampire Crab is an omnivorous scavenger and an opportunistic hunter on occasion. It feeds on filamentous algae and detritus in the paludarium and will also readily accept high-quality dry foods that are rich in plant matter. Fresh and dried vegetables are also excellent food sources, as are insects, worms, and other invertebrates. Due to its opportunistic nature, the Mandarin Vampire Crab might eat other ornamental invertebrates and fish, so its tankmates must be chosen with great care.
- Generally peaceful with its own species
- Fascinating behavior and beautiful coloration
- Ideal for paludariums
- Easy to feed
- Excellent scavenger
- Temperature: 75° – 82° F (24° – 28° C)
- pH: 7.5 – 8.0
- KH: 4 – 10 dKH
- Humidity: 75+%
- Minimum tank size: 5 gallons for a male and 2 females. Larger colonies require larger tanks.
- Diet: Omnivorous. High-quality sinking flakes and pellets, plants/algae, and freeze-dried or frozen meaty foods will be readily accepted. Cuttlebone or a similar material should be added to the aquarium to supplement calcium, which will aid in exoskeleton production
- Social behavior: Peaceful with its own species. May fight with or prey on other species.
- Origin: Java, Indonesia
- Average adult size: 2 inches (5 cm) or less
- Average purchase size: 1 – 2 inches (2.5 – 5 cm)