Red-Clawed Crabs are much known to live in shallow waters and moist land throughout Asia and South-East . but the Korean-adapted species locally called “Thief Crabs” or “Horse Waste Crabs” live mostly in-land, only to head for waters during its mating season in Spring – when a common sight is a mass of tiny crabs crossing the road, resulting in a large amount squashed to death .
its local Korean name understandably comes from the fact that they often intrude into sea-side homes in the night to eat away human left-overs, plus the even eat waste laid from horses as well as cows ! people dwelling around Gang-Hwa-Do on the North-Western tip of modern-day South Korea, also on Southern shores of South Korea’s Port City : Busan or Pusan often write about these crabs as they understand quite a lot about them .
they were originally sea-dwelling creatures but have adapted completely to the weather and landscape of modern Southern Korean Peninsula, that they prefer to live deep in-land and only seek waters during mating Season (by initial instinct). they now even thrive on man-made tap water, although growers recommend keeping it at least a day before introducing onto your pet crab, or any other water pets . South Korea has distinct four Seasons so they hibernate during below-freezing Winters, but semi-hibernate in captivity : partially sleeping and roaming-around again when temperature rises .
fully-grown their main back shell width is about 3~5cm . their central three pairs of claws are used for walking, and hind pair to get out of holes . they use their front pair of pinches quite effectively when digging : removing larger wood or pebbles one-by-one . they dwell in dug burrows in-land but are also spider-ish on land : climbing-up trees with their sharp leg-ends . they instinctively must head-out to waters during mating Season when large groups can be witnessed crossing automobile roads, when many are stepped or tired flat to death .. even then : less than 10% of hatched eggs survive from surrounding predators . cooked tiny crabs about an inch or two in full length including legs were often included in Korean lunch bags, spiced in soy sauce //
– Korea Expat BLog –