Friday 23 March 2012

Umbrella Crab

Image: Ken-ichi via Flickr
It's Cryptolithodes sitchensis! The Umbrella Crab! Turtle Crab! Helmet Crab! I think it's pretty clear where they got their names from!

They are a kind of tiny King Crab that lives in the intertidal zone from Alaska to California. If you can find one, all you'll really see is a suspicious stone about 5 to 10 cm (2 to 4 in) across. This is their carapace, which extends over their entire body with room spare for their legs and claws.

Image: Ken-ichi via Flickr
Tiny eyes peer through the helmet arches. He's like a little Halfing! Or a Pill Lord.

Umbrella Crabs come in a whole range of colours, from sandy and stony browns to vibrant reds and pinks. Even the more extravagant end of the spectrum serves as camouflage because they feed on a coralline algae which is usually pink or red and encrusts stones.

Image: Ken-ichi via Flickr
With full body armour, camouflage and stationary food, it's a slow and easy life for the most adorable little stone you're ever likely to see. You just have to look really carefully to find one!


Magia da Inês said...

Um animal muito curioso.
Belíssimas imagens.

Bom fim de semana!
º° ✿ ✿⊱╮

Anonymous said...

These crabs are really adorable! Maybe except for their eyes, which look just too funny, so tiny! :D

Joseph JG said...

@Magia da Inês: Thank you!

@Chloë Langley: I know what you mean about those eyes. It's just too much/not enough!

Crunchy said...

These guys sure do... rock.


Joseph JG said...

Hahahah! Oh dear. That they do.

Porakiya said...

If you haven't already done so, how about making your next blog post about this giant crab:

Joseph JG said...

Ouch! I'll have to do that one soon!