Quote LIS

Estuaries such as Long Island Sound are among the most valuable ecosystems in the world. The Sound supports diverse marine life, including most of the fish and shellfish we value as food ..."
– Connecticut Sea Grant
Conservation & Research



Horseshoe crab

Aquar.TaggedHorseshoeCrab copy 2

Common Name: Horseshoe crab

Latin Name: Limulus polyphemus

Size/weight:  Up to 24 inches long and 12 inches wide;  3 or 4 pounds.

Range: Found from Maine to the Yucatan (Mexico).

Habitat: Estuaries to continental shelf

Diet:  Worms, bivalves and other bottom dwelling creatures.

Predators:  Migratory shorebirds, humans (fishing bait).

Description:  The horseshoe crab’s name is somewhat misleading. Although it is shaped like a horseshoe, it’s no crab.  The horseshoe crab is an arachnid, a class of arthropods that also includes scorpions, spiders, mites and ticks.  With two main eyes, two simple (light sensing only) eyes and a mouth on the bottom, the horseshoe crab is well suited to life on the bottom.  A brownish segmented shell offers protection and a pointed tail helps the animal right itself; it’s not used for attacking or even self-defense.

Conservation Note: After surviving on Earth for 300 million years, horseshoe crab numbers are declining. A local study, in which The Maritime Aquarium participates, is looking to find out the health and habits of the horseshoe crab population in Long Island Sound.

See them in the Depths of the Sound gallery (in the Touch Tank, in their own Horseshoe Crabs exhibit and in the Schooling exhibit) »




Mission: The Maritime Aquarium inspires people of all ages to appreciate and protect
the Long Island Sound ecosystem and the global environment through living exhibits,
marine science, and environmental education.

10 North Water Street  •  Norwalk, CT 06854
Tel: 203-852-0700

The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation.

© 2016 The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk

TC LL TM  Yankee BestofLogo2016

CT-footer-logo     assoc-of-zoos