Sand Crab (Ovalipes australiensis)
Sand Crab (Ovalipes australiensis) is a medium-sized crab species with a broad distribution across southern Australia from Wide Bay in Queensland, to Rottnest Island in Western Australia, including Tasmanian waters. They occur along surf beaches, in sandy bays and inlets, and in offshore waters to ~100 m depth. In South Australia, they occur in most inshore waters except the northern gulfs and west coast bays, where Blue Crabs are most abundant. The stock structure of Sand Crabs is unknown. A study into the reproductive biology of Sand Crabs in Coffin Bay determined that they are winter spawners for which reproductive activity peaks in July, with berried females present until late August. Female Sand Crabs attain sexual maturity at a smaller size than males. A measuring program undertaken in Coffin Bay during the late 1990s determined that all sampled females were below the minimum legal size or 100 mm, indicating that the regional Sand Crab fishery was essentially based on males.