Thai Micro Crab – Spider Crab (Limnopilos naiyanetri)


Thai micro crab where scientific name is Liminopilos naiyanetri is native to only one river located in Thailand. It is not found anywhere else all around the world so far. These animals are also known as ‘false spider crabs’ and grow up to 0.4 inches (~1cm) maximum. As the name implies, Thai micro crabs are so small animals so they can be cultivated in Nano tanks easily in aquarium setups. They are one of the very few species that live fully immersed in water at all times. So, they can live in any freshwater aquarium under stable, suitable conditions.

These decapods mostly live among the roots of floating plants on water surfaces such as Water Hyacinths and are recognized as shy animals because they are always hiding among the nodules or roots of aquatic plants. These crabs never leave water like some other crab species do and inhabited fully in water for their whole lifetime.

Thai micro crabs are tiny brown–greyish or silver-colored animals with the whole body covered with bristles especially legs and claws. That enables Thai micro crab to catch micro size food particles. These animals resemble the appearance of spiders because of the long legs and claws they have relative to their body size.

Thai micro crabs are usually non-aggressive, peaceful animals towards their species and other species too. Most of the time, they remain motionless and hide among plant roots. They mostly come out to find food.

They are good climbers. Therefore, while keeping Thai micro crabs it is substantial to close or cover the aquarium properly. Any holes required for operating the tank should also be in minimum size and count due to these tiny crabs can escape even from that small holes.

As the members of this species are peaceful in behavior, they can be safely kept with cherry shrimps, Pygmy corydoras, etc.

Water Parameters:

Temperature: 22 – 28°C
pH: 6.5 – 7 (Neutral to slightly soft and acidic water is recommended)
Hardness: 6 – 8 dGH

They do need a properly cycled setup with high water quality; a filtered aquarium of at least 5 gallons (19 L) is probably a good volume. Neutral to slightly soft and acidic water is recommended to start. Other than that, keeping the water parameters stable is necessary.


Thai micro crabs are omnivorous animals, catch micro-organisms and other food particles by using their bristles and claws. So, in aquarium setups for Thai micro crabs, it is suitable to furnish the tank with various types of mosses and support algae growth to provide them a feeling of natural habitat as well as sufficient food. Other food types also can be fed to them such as vegetable-based shrimp foods and other kinds of sinking pellets.

Thai Micro Crab eats live foods like mosquito larvae and blood worms as well. Frozen live foods like blood worms, tubifex worms, krill, artemia, and daphnia are great choices since they are storable and practical to use whenever needed.

One of the most significant points to be taken into account to prevent water pollution and food leftovers is that this species will require very little feeding in a well-established aquarium containing algae, biofilm, or decaying plant matter. In new aquarium setups, high-quality dry foods with high vegetable content are suitable for daily routine.



Thai micro crabs are breeding by eggs(oviparous). They can berry hundreds of eggs but very few of them will survive. At the beginning of the gestation period, the large eggs (~0.6mm in diameter) carried on the female’s pleon are in orange color. Then these gradually turn yellow and then eventually to grey.

At the end of the gestation period, the female releases the larvae, and in the wild these are believed to develop entirely in freshwater and then settle after a development period. It is substantial to illuminate the aquarium during breeding attempts, as the zoea are dependent on light to orientate themselves correctly in the water column.

There are some special requirements to be fulfilled in the breeding of Thai micro crabs to get the maximum efficiency. A sufficient amount of pure water has to be supplied for them. The tank must be prepared according to its natural habitats at closest.

The aquarium should be furnished with aquatic mosses, driftwoods, and rocks. Natural algae growth over the rocks and surfaces should be promoted as a continuous food supply. Providing sufficient covered areas for them to hide is also necessary for them to feel comfortable. The addition of some small plants will be rewarding since they tend to hide among the roots and leaves.

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