This crab is known locally as ‘alakuma, or the seven-eleven crab, due to the seven conspicuous red spots (four near the eyes and three in the center) with four more less prominent along the back edges of its carapace, making a total of eleven, though some reports have varying numbers of spots. Legend has it that a hungry god thought he would make a nice meal of the ‘alakuma, but the crab pinched back, drawing a bit of blood. After several attempts and a few more pinches from the crab’s powerful claws, the god eventually got his supper, but the crab’s descendants sport the bloody prints of its captor.
The seven-eleven crab is a good sized crab, getting as large as five or six inches across its smooth and thick shell. By day, the crab holes up in the reefs nooks and crannies, resting up for a night of foraging. Dinner includes molluscs and marine snails, which they gain access to with their massive chelae (claws).