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Crab Season - August 2, 2010

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It’s crab season!  - Blue Land Crab migration, that is.  About this time of year I begin checking the pool for the blue land crab (Cardisoma guanhumi) which can provide a surprise this time of year as I get ready to swim laps.  

When I first moved to this house 16 years ago, the seasonal migration of these crabs was something to see.  They often crossed Riverland Road in large numbers heading to the finger canals and salt water to lay their eggs.  They crossed in such large numbers that cars traveling Riverland invariably took a big toll of the number crossing the street and Riverland was paved with crab bodies.  It’s been years since I’ve seen such large migrations in the neighborhood.  Instead, it’s most commonly the individual crab in the pool.

Both Wikipedia and University of Florida IFAS state that the younger crabs are brightly colored and the older ones more drab.  They burrow tunnels into the ground of up to five feet.  The photos and video are both young females.  They carry the eggs under their body with their telson and are said to be gravid.  Neither the photo or video crabs have eggs attached. 

UF IFAS says the female migration to salt water lasts from June until December, so if sexually mature, these females may have already deposited their eggs and are on their way back to a burrow. 

Notice that one claw is larger than the other - typical in the land crabs of Florida.

© Fred Searcy 2017