Rosamond Gifford Zoo

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Sally Lightfoot Crab

Grapsus grapsus

Sally Lightfoot is a Galapagos coastal crab with vibrant light blue and red coloring on the shells and a pale white underbelly with a carapace (central shell) averaging ~5 inches. As a scavenger, this species plays an important role of cleaning up the Galápagos’ costal ecosystem.

Range & Habitat

Sally Lightfoot crab is a coastal scavenger found in the Galapagos islands and across the western coast of South and Central America. 

Conservation Status: Least Concern

Classified as Least Concern by Galapagos Conservation Trust

Threats: The threats are primarily local, by predators, such as Galapagos lava herons, octopuses, and tuna. They are additionally preyed upon via invasive species, introduced rats, cats and dogs.


The species has a generalist diet from eating any organic debris and other micro-invertebrates in coastal grounds. 

Life Span


Fun Facts about the Sally Lightfoot Crab

  • Rumored to have been named after a Caribbean dancer, due to their ability to climb vertical slopes and exceptional agility.
  • Female Sally Lightfoot’s carry their eggs on their stomachs until they are ready to hatch in water, then the larvae swim out in search for phytoplankton
  • The Sally Lightfoot Crab will eat ticks and parasites off tropical Iguanas. They even eat sea lion’s placenta!


Sally Lightfoot Crab. Galapagos Conservation Trust. Sally Lightfoot Crab - Galapagos Conservation Trust retrieved July 18, 2021.

Updated June 13, 2023
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