Definition of coconut crab in English:

coconut crab

Pronunciation /ˈkōkəˌnət krab/ /ˈkoʊkəˌnət kræb/


  • A large terrestrial crablike crustacean that climbs coconut palms to feed on the nuts, found on islands in the Indo-Pacific area.

    Birgus latro, family Paguridae

    ‘One of the more notable recent invaders is the large coconut crab, a hermit crab restricted to islands in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.’
    Also called robber crab
    • ‘You'll be happy to know that international cuisine features strongly, as well as local specialties including coconut crab and wild pigeon cooked island style in ground ovens.’
    • ‘Though we were actually searching for coconut crabs, this encounter became a moment I will always remember amongst the other riches of this majestic island.’
    • ‘She had to keep the kitchen spotless as every night giant coconut crabs came down from the palm trees to see what they could find.’
    • ‘Enormous coconut crabs live in the trees and giant monitor lizards stalk in the undergrowth.’


So named because it climbs trees to reach coconuts.