Monday, January 10, 2011

Where are all these crabs from?

Sand Crab [Ovalipes australiensis]
I'm sure you’ve notice either the large number of crab shells and carcasses on the beach this summer or more likely you've felt something nipping at your bare feet in the shallow surf. The culprit is the Sand Crab [Ovalipes australiensis]. They are common enough and a favorite food for the pacific gulls. But why so many this year?

Please leave a comment is you think you know why.

A word of warning for the keen surf fisherman from the Museum Victoria, Ovalipes are experts at removing bait from fishhooks!

1 comment:

  1. My guess is;
    I think I have been seeing alot more smaller Pipis around lately. Both on the Surf beach and also on the Andersons Inlet side. My explanation is Pipi lavae settling on the beaches and metamorphising into mini adults in great numbers is attracting the crabs. The crabs preying on the smaller bivalves. Around certain bits of Andersons Inlet especially many smaller Pipi die through misfortune of being swept into the Inlet rather than land on a surf beach, these easy pickins encourage the crab.