Pāpaka, New Zealand Paddle Crab (Ovalipes catharus)
Last Modified: 15-7-2023 22:42
Ovalipes catharus, Pāpaka, New Zealand Paddle Crab is a moderate sized swimming crab growing up to about 140mm across found around New Zealand's coastline in areas with sandy bottoms. The top of the crab is a light colour with pinkish speckles, The rear pair of legs have paddles which enable the crabs to swim, however they will commonly bury themselves in sand, waiting to ambush prey. Paddle crabs are predators feeding on molluscs, worms and other crustaceans, and will also scavenge dead material, which can lead to them sometimes being caught on baited hooks.
Although edible, and with some value as a commercial species, paddle crabs are rarely caught recreationally.
Around Marlborough, they are common in Robin Hood Bay, Whites Bay, and in Cloudy Bay.
This example was observed at Robin Hood Bay.
Image Date: 2/1/2022
Photographer: Christopher Cookson
Location: Latitude: -41.35532 Longitude: 174.076904