The stalk-eyed mud crab has an elongated carapace (back), up to 40mm wide, and brightly coloured in large specimens. It has distinctive stalked eyes.
Common on mudflats in the mid and low tide zone.The Stalk Eyed Mud crab can usually be found lower on the shore than the Tunnelling Mud Crab. It cannot survive more than 8 hours above water. It does not tolerate brackish or fresh water. It makes long burrows underneath the seagrass, and can also dig itself into the sand, whenever danger threatens.
Scavenges through mud for organic detritus. It has many predators, including cod, eel, and sea birds (including herons and kingfishers)
Females mature at 10-13mm caarapace width and can produce 2-3 batches of eggs during one season, which extends from May - February. Eggs are small (0.25mm) and a large female can carry up to 20,000 eggs under her abdomen.References
Yaldwyn J. C., Webber, W. R., 2011. Annotated Checklist of New Zealand Decapoda (Arthropoda: Crustacea). Tuhinga vol 22. Pg171-272.
Raupō Pocket dictionary of modern Maori
http://www.seafriends.org.nz/enviro/crust/ocipodi.htm (accessed 24/11/10)