Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Wildlife Wednesday - soldier crabs


When I was a kid, we always found Soldier Crabs at the central coast when we were on holidays - every low tide (you know, for the few days we were there on holidays!).

I've been here 8 years and on Saturday, I saw my first lot of Soldier Crabs. It took me right back to being a kid.

The little scuttling marching noise of the crabs coming out of the sand and marching to the water was EXACTLY how I remembered it. It's what caught my attention first. Immediately my heart jumped. "Soldier crabs," my mind yelled like a five-year-old. I scanned quickly, camera at the ready and clicked and clicked and clicked.

They move so quickly, and I'm such a big predator, they weren't happy to pose for photos. And getting one to stay still on my hand so I could take a shot was tricky. I have lots of photos of a bare hand!

They don't bite or nip, these guys. I remembered that from when I was a kid, but was relieved to see it was still the case!

They march in groups, like regiments, scurrying out of the sand to catch up to the rest. They were of all sizes - tiny ones to large ones (the large one is the size of the one in my hand - they were slower to catch!).

Here's some more information if you're intrigued:

Australian Museum info here
and some more here with cute illustrations

Here's an article about Moon Snails attacking soldier crabs, with video.

And here's one with lots of info.

I'm hoping I get to see them again! Soon :)

The sand after eating, and small soldier crabs emerging/hiding

All the white near the water are crabs

Scaling the log

A loner...lost!

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