Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Lady Crab - Ovalipes ocellatus

Lady Crab Carapace
This year has been exciting since instead of just finding lady crab carapace that have been molted, I found to live lady crabs.  Both were at Allens Pond during a beach ramble.  The first one was laying in the sand on its back and covered with sand.  Probably thrown they are on the outgoing tide.  I washed it off and brought it up so that we could show the group a living lady crab.  The crab lost one of its pinchers.  However, hopefully it will grow back with the next molt.
Lady Crab
Examining the Lady Crab
The second one was found actively swimming in the canal by the culvert.  It moved around very fast.  The reason it could swim fast is that the last pair of legs are modified into paddles.

Lady Crab Swimming

Lady crabs are very brightly colored and when you see them in the water, especially under direct sunlight, the color pattern shows up on the shell.  Lady crabs are knocked terminal in very highly aggressive.  They occur along the East Coast from Canada down to Georgia.  They feed on mollusks such as the Atlantic surf clam and also are scavengers feeding on dead fish and other invertebrates.

Lady Crabs are not as tasty as other crags such as the Blue Crab, so they are not harvested.

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