The Purple Rock Crab (Leptograpsus variegatus) is a marine (saltwater) crustacean in the Grapsidae family of large-eyed crabs.
The Purple Rock Crab has a purplish-coloured shell called a carapace. It gains white markings as it matures. The carapace is smooth and shaped like a square.
It grows up to 5 centimetres (2 inches) across.
It is found in the sub-tropical waters of the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, in the Southern Hemisphere, mainly around Australia and New Zealand, and South America. It likes rocky areas, where it can hide.
The Purple Rock Crab is omnivorous, eating plants, such as algae growing on rocks, as well as small animals. It also eats barnacles and limpets.
The female lays eggs which hatch after about 42 days.
Location of photographs: Aquarium de Paris-Cinéaqua, France
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM