E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Wildlife of British Columbia

Upogebia pugettensis (Dana, 1852)
Blue Mud Shrimp
Family: Upogebiidae

Species account author: Josephine Hart.
Extracted from Crabs and their relatives of British Columbia.
Photo of species

© Aaron Baldwin  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #2080)

E-Fauna BC Static Map
Distribution of Upogebia pugettensis in British Columbia
Details about map content are available here.

Species Information

Carapace with anterior dorsal area rough and setose with rest smooth and membranous. Chelipeds setose, stout with small thumb and stout dactyl. Walking legs stout, slightly compressed and setose. Abdomen with narrow pleura and pubescence on 3rd, 4th and 5th segments. Male without pleopods on 1st segment. Large and foliaceous pleopods on segments 2 to 5. Female with uniramous pleopods on segment 1 and foliaceous on 2 to 5. All except the last pair serve to carry eggs. Telson wider than long.


Total length: male 150 mm, female 105 mm.


Considerable variation in intensity and distribution of colour. Carapace with anterior part blue and brown, laterally grey or white with reticulations of blue, orange or yellow. Abdomen brown with blue and green reticulations. Tail fan with a symmetrical pattern of blue and green on sixth segment, bright yellow with blue ridges on uropods and telson orange margined with green. Pleopods orange. Chelipeds: ischium orange, merus and carpus yellow and blue with pale brown setae. Hand blue with tip of dactyl white. Eyestalk orange, cornea black.


Common in burrows in muddy sand, but are also found in most sheltered beaches as well, in sand or gravel, particularly under rocks where sufficient suitable material is available to construct semi-permanent burrows. Y-shaped burrows with several openings on the surface are made.



Valdez Narrows, Alaska (60°4’N, 146°40’W), to San Quentin Bay, Mexico; intertidal.
Distribution In British Columbia

Common in suitable habitats.


Of some economic importance due to burrowing activities. On certain types of oyster beds, young oysters can be smothered by the mud displaced by these animals. Also dykes designed to retain a layer of sea water may be riddled with burrows through which water drains at low tide.

Status Information

Origin StatusProvincial StatusBC List
(Red Blue List)
BC Ministry of Environment: BC Species and Ecosystems Explorer--the authoritative source for conservation information in British Columbia.

Additional Photo Sources

General References

Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2021. E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Fauna of British Columbia [efauna.bc.ca]. Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed: 2021-09-16 3:05:18 PM]
Disclaimer: The information contained in an E-Fauna BC atlas pages is derived from expert sources as cited (with permission) in each section. This information is scientifically based.  E-Fauna BC also acts as a portal to other sites via deep links.  As always, users should refer to the original sources for complete information.  E-Fauna BC is not responsible for the accuracy or completeness of the original information.

© E-Fauna BC: An initiative of the Spatial Data Lab, Department of Geography, UBC