fiddler crab


: any of a genus (Uca) of burrowing crabs in which the male has one claw that is greatly enlarged

Illustration of fiddler crab

Illustration of fiddler crab

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web When approached by a potential mate, the male fiddler crab begins to wave its large claw up and down. Discover Magazine, 29 June 2010 See a small fiddler crab scuttling along a log; a skink's dark and half-closed eye; a tiny green buffalo treehopper clinging, upside-down, to a leaf; a Brazilian verbena flower so small that dozens could fit on a quarter. Star Tribune, 29 June 2021 Studies ranged from developing an algorithm to predict oil slicks when satellite images aren’t available, to a way of using fiddler crabs and snails to monitor the health of Louisiana salt marshes. Eric Niiler, Wired, 22 Apr. 2020 The elegant shorebird, with its curved needle beak, racing stripe above the eye, and the long legs of a wader, picked its way through Loagy Bay salt marsh in Wellfleet, plucking fiddler crabs from their finger-thick burrows in the mud., 26 Sep. 2019 When fiddler crab burrows were tucked among the vegetation, little extra gas was released. Science | AAAS, 15 Aug. 2019 The fiddler crabs are like little invertebrate peacocks. James Gorman, New York Times, 26 Feb. 2018 From the coast, anglers continue to report limit catches of sheepshead from rockpiles and around the gas wells on cut shrimp or fiddler crabs fished on bottom. Frank Sargeant,, 30 Mar. 2018 Is there more to find out about fiddler crab mating? James Gorman, New York Times, 26 Feb. 2018 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'fiddler crab.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1843, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of fiddler crab was in 1843

Dictionary Entries Near fiddler crab

Cite this Entry

“Fiddler crab.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition

fiddler crab

: a burrowing crab of which the male has one claw much larger than the other

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