Monday, September 11, 2006

Fiddler Crabs


you're
on
my
foot









You could hear these guys rustling through the marshgrass, long before your eyes registered the moving crustacean carpet. These fiddler crabs are great at transforming detritus from the marsh grasses into crab flesh, which of course, winds up as bird flesh, fish flesh, and even blogger flesh.














Here's a little closer look at the crabby current that flowed across the mud and into the safety of the marsh grass. The sheer volume of these guys was incredible, but not unusual. Around Florida in healthy marshes, you can find these same crabs in similar numbers.














The crab above is a male. The males have one greatly enlarged claw for attracting females and shoving around other males. Male fiddlers will stand at the entrance of their muddy burrows waving their big claws at any female crab that walks by.
So typical.














The female crab above has two small claws which makes it easy to distinguish her from the large-clawed males. She's a cutie and probably gets her share of big claw waves from the males.



Off topic: I am aware of the date and since my views on September 11th have not changed, I have chosen not to repeat them. For the curious, they are in the September 2005 archives. Posted by Picasa

21 comments:

Laura said...

I didn't know you could pick them up, much less catch them!
Everytime we get near them, they scurry away really fast, and they are usually in areas where the muck is super thick.

So to your readers, the fact that FC was able to take these pictures so close up is incredible!

Laura said...

By the way, did you all feel the earthquake?

LauraHinNJ said...

Holy crap that's a lot of crabs! I saw a few of these the other day and posted a pathetic pic on my blog - I've never seen such numbers!

Mrs. S said...

Thank you for posting something happy today - those crabs are very cute.

Although it seems funny to know that, as much as we humans try to deny it, 'size does matter' ;)

Hal at Ranch Ramblins said...

It's a good thing there are so many - it looks like it would take dozens to make a decent meal.

Floridacracker said...

Laura,
Thanks, they are speedy scurriers. This was harder mud than the usual saltmarsh ... that helped.

I didn't feel a thing during the earthquake ... missed it!! Arrgghhh.

Laurahinnj,
This is a very pristine marsh and the population here is probably at maximum levels.

Mrs. S,
Even in crabs?

Hal,
The bird like 'em, but I couldn't imagine eating them.

pablo said...

See, yet another reason not to go barefoot in Florida!

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Hoo boy, I could be such a crab if I worked on it....

Thanks for the science lesson.

gawilli said...

Oooh. This is my first time here. The pictures are great. I'm going to spend sometime in the archives.

Floridacracker said...

Okay Pablo, you win. Barefoot here might result in serious toe nipping.

Hoss,
I can't imagine you crabby.

Gawilli,
Welcome to Pure Florida! Thanks for commenting!

Deb said...

A fiddler's convention! Wonderful! I suspect they stay up until the wee hours jamming on all the old-time tunes...

rick said...

makes me want put one on a hook and catch a Minorcan delight.

thingfish23 said...

Yeah Rick - I was going to say that they look like permit bait to me...

Rurality said...

Ooh, you have made me remember the heebie-jeebie-ish noise these things make when on the move en masse like that. Kinda cool but kinda makes my skin crawl too!

Floridacracker said...

Deb,
Marsh music!

Rick,
The sheepshead do love em.

Thingfish,
ALOT OF BAIT. We used to take a sheet and scare them towards it.

Rurality,
A skittery scrawly skrattery hiss is how I hear it :)
If only I had broadband, I'd have a video up.

Likes2mtnbike said...

Ok, that picture of all those crabs just gives me the shivers!

Floridacracker said...

Likes2mtnbike,
Imagine being stuck in the mud, unable to move ...

Ava said...

Great crab pictures! They're very cute!

Floridacracker said...

Ava,
The are and that's not always a word applied to crabs :)

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

This was very interesting since I don't live in Florida I never get to see such interesting little crabs, in such numbers.

Duey said...

Where is this place?