Aug 7, 2008

Unidentified crustacean

As a Maryland native, I am a huge blue crab fan. Its scientific name, Callinectes sapidus, translates literally into English as "beautiful swimmers," which is incidently also the title of the 1976 pulitzer prize winning book by William W. Warner on the on the natural history the Chesapeake Bay's most beloved creature.
Of course this video isn't of a blue crab.
But apparently there are quite a bit of blue crabs in the saltwater lagoon on the other side of the beach.
As it turned out, this was the only crab I've seen on the beach in some time -- or at least along this particular stretch of beach. It was back in the summer of 2004 when this very same beach was swarmed with crabs of every sizes and shapes (... and varieties that I had never seen before and haven't seen since), in the weeks following a red tide that lined the beach with dead fish.
It was truly a site to behold.
Can anyone tell me the type of crab in this video? If you can also name the beach you win a free prize.


kim said...

That's a ghost crab! Wikipedia tells me the genus is Ocypode, and there are a few different species.

The big holes (inch or two in diameter) you see high up on the beach are their burrows. Cool video!

Robert V. Sobczak said...

Thanks Kim.

Here's the link to the Wikipedia page on ghost crabs, and your right: the photo on the page matches exactly the crab on the video.

Wikipedia is an amazingly powerful and handy reference, right there at your fingertips when you need it.

I just read in the newspaper that the site is 8 years old and includes wikipedias in 263 languages. That's more countries than is represented in the olympics.

Barrier Island Girl said...

That's great, Robert! Thanks for sharing!