A male fiddler crab (top) courts a female. Fiddler crabs are dubbed the “ecosystem engineers” of mangroves in Hong Kong as they help the plants breathe by digging holes in the mud. Photo: SCMPA male fiddler crab (top) courts a female. Fiddler crabs are dubbed the “ecosystem engineers” of mangroves in Hong Kong as they help the plants breathe by digging holes in the mud. Photo: SCMP
A male fiddler crab (top) courts a female. Fiddler crabs are dubbed the “ecosystem engineers” of mangroves in Hong Kong as they help the plants breathe by digging holes in the mud. Photo: SCMP

How climate change threatens Hong Kong’s vital fiddler crabs and why the crustaceans are a natural oddity

  • Fiddler crabs dig holes in the soil that mangroves grow in, providing the ecologically important plants with more oxygen
  • Unlike similar species, you can easily determine the gender of fiddler crabs – males have an enormous, often brightly coloured claw used to attract females
Topic |   Conservation
A male fiddler crab (top) courts a female. Fiddler crabs are dubbed the “ecosystem engineers” of mangroves in Hong Kong as they help the plants breathe by digging holes in the mud. Photo: SCMPA male fiddler crab (top) courts a female. Fiddler crabs are dubbed the “ecosystem engineers” of mangroves in Hong Kong as they help the plants breathe by digging holes in the mud. Photo: SCMP
A male fiddler crab (top) courts a female. Fiddler crabs are dubbed the “ecosystem engineers” of mangroves in Hong Kong as they help the plants breathe by digging holes in the mud. Photo: SCMP
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