Purple Vampire Crab (Geosesarma dennerle)

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Purple Vampire Crab
Geosesarma dennerle
Purple Vampire Crab (Geosesarma dennerle)
Name Purple Vampire Crab
Name Lat. Geosesarma dennerle
Family Sesarmid Marsh Crabs
Family lat. Sesarmidae
Order Decapoda
Order lat. Decapoda
Origin Sulawesi
Habitat Wetlands
Diet Insects, leaves, fruits, crab food
Humidity 70-90 %
Behavior Peaceful
Keeping Pair, group
Care Level Easy
Housing Humid terrarium
Breeding Difficult
Life Span 2-3 years
Protection No
Metric Units
Size 2-3 cm
Temperature Day 24-28 °C
Temperature Night 20-22 °C
Housing Size 40 x 30 x 30 cm
US Units
Size 1"
Temperature Day 75-82 °F
Temperature Night 68-72 °F
Housing Size 15" x 15" x 15"

Distribution and habitat

The natural range of the violet vampire crab is the island of Sulawesi (Indonesia). They live mainly terrestrially, often on trees near bodies of water, such as ponds, ponds, streams and floodplains.


They need a terrarium (aquaterrarium) with a deep substrate suitable for cave building, made of non-rotting substrate such as sand-peat mixture with coconut fibers and sphagnum moss with a drainage, covered with leaves and pieces of bark

In addition, climbing branches with rough bark and branch forks in which water can collect. Artificial plants are advantageous as privacy screens, which can be easily removed for cleaning

They need a shallow water basin for drinking and bathing that is not too deep (danger of drowning). Regular water changes are required to maintain water quality

Daily 1-2 times the inside of the terrarium must be finely sprayed with water (humidity), but better is a rain or fog system.


Temp. day: 24-28 °C Temp. night: min. 20 °C Humidity: 70-90 %

The lighting duration must be 10-14 hours depending on the season. Very suitable are daylight fluorescent tubes with low UV content, supplemented with spotlights.


They need animal and vegetable food. The food supply consists of foliage (oak, beech, sea almond tree), vegetables (peas, carrots, zucchini, etc.), fruit (apple, pear, banana, etc.) and insects, supplemented with high-quality dry food for crabs and crayfish and commercially available frozen food mixtures. It is important to regularly add minerals (cuttlebone, calcium powder) and vitamins

Unaccepted food should be removed after 4-5 hours. A regular and varied diet promotes health and prevents deficiency symptoms

Behaviour and compatibility

They are well tolerated social animals and should be kept in a harem, one male with several females, or at least in pairs. Socialization with other mangrove crabs is not recommended.

Basically, only mutually compatible species with similar requirements should be socialized

Reproduction and breeding

Males have a narrower abdomen and larger claws, females are usually more strongly colored

Crabs have abbreviated larval development in the egg and release fully developed juveniles (not larvae). Pregnant females, which carry about 20 eggs (about 1 mm in size) in their abdominal pouches, reside primarily in burrows and burrows they dig themselves. The young require a pool of water for their development.


With increasing age, the animals live predominantly terrestrial

Special care should be taken to cover the terrarium well, as they are escape specialists. Escaped crabs dry out quickly.

The terrarium must have good ventilation without drafts and meet the species specific needs. Measuring devices such as thermometers, hygrometers, etc. are necessary. The lighting must correspond to the species-specific day-night rhythm and must be installed in such a way that the animals cannot injure themselves. Contamination must be removed regularly.

Further literature can be found in your pet store.


Text: petdata; Image: petdata

Source: WERNER (2002): Garnelen, Krebse und Krabben im Süßwasseraquarium, Verlag ACS; ENGELMANN & LANGE (2011): Zootierhaltung - Tiere in menschlicher Obhut: Wirbellose, Verlag Harri Deutsch