Thursday, 8 February 2018

White Fiddler Crabs



We got new sand at the Ann Kolb laguna and in a matter of days fiddler crabs changed color.  They are completely white.  Normally, these crabs are browning in color.  So strange that they've changed color to better blend in.





This is what a normal Fiddler Crab or Uca pugnax looks like.  They blending into the mud)))





Uca pugnax is the most common species of crabs in South Florida. This fiddler crab has a very noticeable sexual dimophism. Males have enlarged yellow colored claw bearing legs and one disproportionately large right claw.  Most male fiddler crabs are often seen making circular motions with their large claw in order to communicate with females and themselves.


Uca pugnax lives in saltmarshes along the Mid-Atlantic coast. Marsh fiddler crabs construct burrows that are utilized for mating, rest, and "hibernation" during the winter. The burrows of U. pugnax also serve as refuge from predators, heat, and incoming tides. Burrows are approximately 1.3 cm wide and are between 30.5 cm and 92 cm deep. Commonly located in sandy and muddy substrates, burrows may end in a small room or be connected with other burrows. During high tide, U. pugnax plug their burrows with mud. Often these burrows are found near hard structural elements or grass stems in areas of intermediate root mat density
Uca pugnax lives in saltmarshes along the Mid-Atlantic coast. Marsh fiddler crabs construct burrows that are utilized for mating, rest, and "hibernation" during the winter. The burrows of U. pugnax also serve as refuge from predators, heat, and incoming tides. Burrows are approximately 1.3 cm wide and are between 30.5 cm and 92 cm deep. Commonly located in sandy and muddy substrates, burrows may end in a small room or be connected with other burrows. During high tide, U. pugnax plug their burrows with mud. Often these burrows are found near hard structural elements or grass stems in areas of intermediate root mat density
Uca pugnax lives in saltmarshes along the Mid-Atlantic coast. Marsh fiddler crabs construct burrows that are utilized for mating, rest, and "hibernation" during the winter. The burrows of U. pugnax also serve as refuge from predators, heat, and incoming tides. Burrows are approximately 1.3 cm wide and are between 30.5 cm and 92 cm deep. Commonly located in sandy and muddy substrates, burrows may end in a small room or be connected with other burrows. During high tide, U. pugnax plug their burrows with mud. Often these burrows are found near hard structural elements or grass stems in areas of intermediate root mat density





These guys also dig a lot of burrows. These burrows  are 1/2 inch wide  and can be up to a foot deep.  Fiddler crabs usually run for their little home at the very first sign of trouble. Because of that, they are very hard to photograph))) These burrows are also very important to the ecosystem because they act as filters and deposits for meiofauna.  This actually affects the turnover of nutrients and chemicals in the sediment.









The fiddler crabs usually grow up to 25 to 30 mm in size.   They pretty peaceful, preferring to feed on detritus and tiny organisms found in mud.   They live in colonies that can reach thousands of individuals.  Males can fight with each other, but usually it results in every little injuries. 







It took a some effort to photograph this little guy. He was extremely fast, for  fiddler crab. Running all over the place. Luckily, he was away from his burrow.  So I managed to get a few good shots.













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