Friday, April 19, 2019

Big, crabby family

Another of my green shore crabs is in berry. And this time, she consented to a photo session, showing off her brood under a bright light.

Hemigrapsus oregonensis, in berry.

A female green shore crab may carry up to 11,00 eggs; the average is around 4,500. That's a lot of babies! And she takes good care of them fanning them and picking out bits of dirt (with those huge pincers!) and pumping water around them. They are protected by a feathery "blanket" along the edges of the abdominal plate, and held in place, as well, by those spiky pleopods visible on the right side here.

The eggs move into a second stage of growth while still in the egg. I think these are second-stage: look at the next photo. You can see their eyes! (Click for a larger size photo.)

Looking out at the big world.

I doubt that any of these will survive after they hatch as zoeae; the tank doesn't contain their usual predators, such as jellyfish, but the pump substitutes quite efficiently. But you never know; A couple of the crabs now in my aquarium grew up from babyhood here.

1 comment:

  1. Hello from Pakistan. Awesome nature photography. What camera and lens do you use to get the closeups of the wonderful critters? Do you also make videos, and if so, how do you wade around in marshes, etc with the camera gear?

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