Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Candy Crab

Image: David Rolla
Hoplophrys oatesi
Pear drops, lollipops and all a sweet tooth likes
Crunch 'em, munch 'em, chew 'em up
But be careful of the spikes!

Image: Moorea Biocode
The Candy Crab is a delightful, little sweetie just 2 cm (0.8) long, the perfect size to pop in your mouth and enjoy mankind's sugary attempt to capture the essence of the chemical cocktail known as a strawberry.

Image: Tom Demeyer
Or it would be, were it not for the legs, the spikes and the general crabbiness.

Video: liquidguru

The spikes and bright colours are more about camouflage than taunting us like a painful honey dumpling or a hurty-hurty-schnookums. They disappear among the Indo-Pacific soft corals they live in and feed on whatever they can get their itty-bitty, clippy-claws on.

Video: Shane Siers

Sometimes they tear off polyps from the coral and attach them to their body to improve the camouflage.

Image: Nick Hobgood
It's a good thing they're as small as they are... schmoopsie-poo ain't so snuggly when it's covered in eviscerated fish. Unless, you know... you're into that sort of thing.


TexWisGirl said...

schmoopsie-poo. best word(s) of the day...

Joseph Jameson-Gould said...

Ha! Don't overuse it, I'm sure it's sweet enough to cause tooth decay if you say it too much!

Daniel Berke said...

Very cute. I've always had a soft spot for crabs...

Joseph Jameson-Gould said...

I'm sure they have a lot of exoskeleton for you, too!

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