It was indeed very fortunate for us to witness this common but rarely seen mangrove keystone species. The tall mud mounds they create are the result of processing huge amount of mud to obtain the organic material the lobsters feed on. The mounds will eventually become a key habitat for several mangrove animals like tree-climbing crabs, other invertebrates and even certain species of mangrove snakes.
There are two species of Mud Lobster in Singapore. What we saw is most probably a Thalassina anomala. But the taxonomy of Thalassina genus is difficult and needs to be revised.
Pictures and video taken at: Mangrove in western Singapore, January 2007.
Holthuis, L. B., Marine Lobsters of the World.
Ng, P. K. L. & N. Sivasothi, 1999. A Guide to the Mangroves of Singapore II, Singapore Science Centre, Singapore.
Scharff, J. W. & M. W. F. Tweedie, 1942. ‘Malaria and the Mud Lobster’, Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, vol. 36 (1), pp. 41-44.