Support Us
Follow Us
Biocode MINV Team/Encyclopedia of Life

Meet the Hot Pink Poisonous Crab With No Antidote

Don't go anywhere near the prettiest crab in all the land.

Don't go anywhere near the prettiest crab in all the land.

We get why you would want to. The Liomera rugata, a crab in the Xanthidae family of crabs, is one of the brightest, most fun-looking sea creatures out there.

With a shell that looks the hottest of hot pinks when it's gleaming underneath the surface, it's tough not to want to make one of these babies your new best friend.

hot pink crab Atlas of Living Australia

Other crabs in the Xanthidae family also have colorful, speckled shells — a trait that would normally make them popular among people who want to collect the brightest and most beautiful to show off in their home aquariums.

But these crabs aren't popular in aquariums for one good reason: They're poisonous. Really, really poisonous, with no known antidote.

Though scientists aren't exactly sure where their poison comes from (although some believe it may be made in a symbiotic relationship with nearby bacteria), they know they use it to stay safe in the sea.

Unlike some marine animal toxins that can only infect other sea creatures, though, these crabs can also wreak havoc on human systems.

Researchers believe their poison is similar to tetrodotoxin, the potent neurotoxin that is found in some animals, including the pufferfish.

That toxin makes the animal one of the more deadly animals in the sea — it has notoriously killed some diners who ate a pufferfish that had been prepared by unlicensed professionals.


In the case of the hot pink crab, though, there's no license that would make it safe to eat.

A chef can't boil or char away the toxins within Xanthidae crabs, and if they do make their way into a human somehow, there's no known antidote to counteract the nasty effects.

All that pink has to be admired from afar.

Show Comments ()

Literally Just 50+ Photos of Stunningly Beautiful Sea Slugs

Did you know nudibranchs (aka sea slugs) are basically the Beyoncés of the ocean? Check out these beautiful sea slugs that, you know, woke up like this.

Keep Reading Show less

Sign Up For Our Newsletter Subscribe Shark

Sign Up For Our Newsletter Subscribe Shark