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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Sea Things #18: Arrow Crabs

Sea Things is a regular feature on my blog where I profile a different sea creature. Look for it weekly, or something close to weekly.


I kind of don't really like Arrow Crabs. They freak me out a little, and bear too much of a resemblance to Camelback Crickets, which infested my house that I lived in as a kid. Camelback Crickets give me the heebie jeebies. So, Arrow Crabs give me the heebie jeebies. However, Todd likes them, so here's some information about them.

Arrow Crabs are also called Stenorhynchus seticornis and get to be about 6 inches long at their biggest. They're found in the Caribbean, basically everywhere, at almost any depth. I will usually spot them hanging out in a hole or in a sponge, or sometimes just on an outcropping on a reef. They eat little animals and things, and I've been told that they sometimes will decorate themselves a little like a decorator crab would. Arrow Crabs are nocturnal, so to see one out in the open, you usually have to be around at night time, but I've seen them during the day in holes and stuff, so they're not something that you strictly see at night.

Despite the fact that they resemble ugly bugs, if you really look at them close up, they are kind of pretty. They have gold and brown stripes, and purple pincers. As far as divers are concerned, they usually could care less if you're hanging around, taking photos, etc. I've seen a divemaster pick one up, as well (not that I recommend this, I don't like stressing out sea creatures).

Like other crabs, they molt as they grow and shed their exoskeletons. A diver that wants to point one out will use the same hand signal as for any other crab (holding up hands and making them look like crab claws).




Is there a creature that you would like to see featured in Sea Things? If so, shoot me an email and if I can, I'll write about it. Photos on this post are courtesy of Todd Krebs.

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