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Soldier Crabs - little blue ocean wonders

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Description


     The soldier crab is one original crustacean! Small, quite funny and interestingly colored, the soldier crab is usually encountered in very large groups and can be observed marching for food.  The soldier crab reaches about 15 cm in size. The eyes of the soldier crab are a combination of green and red and it has a purple or blue body. The interesting thing to look at the soldier crab is the long, slender claws. These are usually yellow or reddish and folded downward. The claws are pointed towards the crab.
     The soldier crabs are quite amusing because of their behavior. They gather in large groups and march on, just like soldiers on the battlefield, towards feeding. The soldier crab is adapted to the ground life, as it has the power to absorb air through its legs! The water is absorbed through the hairs they have on their abdomen.

 

Close up of soldier crab

 

 


Habitat


     The soldier crabs are found in natural sand. The soldier crabs are indigenous from eastern Australia. Their current distribution is: from New South Wales to the Northern Queensland, and also in the Western Indian Ocean and French Polynesia. Soldier crabs love the beaches, estuaries and intertidal mangroves. 

 

 


Diet


     The diet of the soldier crab is quite original: it eats “the thin coating of detritus on sand grain” which means this crustacean is a detrivore. Therefore, even if they are called soldiers, these crabs are no hunters!

 

 


Interesting facts

 

  • The soldier crab can run sideways and forward, unlike most species of crabs. Plus, it moves very fast!
  • The soldier crab is quite shy. If it feels footsteps or humans approaching, it will burrow in the sand. They disappear very quickly when disturbed.
  • The soldier crab always filters the sand with its mouth and leaves behind a tiny pellet of sand!
  • The soldier crab is harmless to humans and very popular with children thanks to their funny look!

 

Soldier Crabs on the beach


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Sources:

http://getfishing.com.au/speciesid/soldier-crab/
http://people.hws.edu/fieldguide/show.asp?ID=101
http://www.wildsingapore.com/wildfacts/crustacea/crab/ocypodoidea/dotilla.htm
http://australianmuseum.net.au/soldier-crab

Picture Sources

https://kingfisherbayresort.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/soldier-crabs-on-western-beach-c2a9-d-leal-033.jpg - picture 1
http://drtafesafaris.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/Soldier-Crab-1.jpg - picture 2
http://www.google.ro/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CAcQjRw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fhdwallpapersfactory.com%2Fmilitary%2Fsoldier-crab-by-helena1-high-resolution-desktop-hd-wallpaper-1016929%2F&ei=47dYVb3IDITxUsL1gegM&bvm=bv.93564037,d.d24&psig=AFQjCNFnIifZybq3ubXEBGudfsfUajEqbw&ust=1431963264161536 – picture 3
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-VcryysMnxQQ/TsrYOYq0HsI/AAAAAAAAAOw/VoyYmyvLIyc/s1600/IMG_3112.JPG - picture 4
https://sugarstripe.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/img_0548.jpg - picture 5
http://nowak.com.au/wp-content/gallery/soldier-crabs-australijskie-kraby-zolnierze/soldier-crab-krab-zolnierz-08.jpg - picture 6

Published by Silvia Totu

17 May 2015, 19:13 soldier crab, army crab, blue crab, sand crab2053
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