Emerita analoga (Stimpson, ). Common name(s): Pacific sand crab, sand crab, mole crab. Synonyms: Hippa analoga, 3 cm preserved female. Scientific Name. Emerita analoga. Animal Type. Invertebrates. Diet. plankton, mostly dinoflagellates. Size. females: to 2 inches ( mm); males inches. Pacific Sand Crab (Mole Crab). Emerita analoga. Decapoda: Hippidae. Laguna Beach, Orange County, CA. 06/11/ © Peter J. Bryant. Back to Natural History.

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She carries them on her abdomen until the eggs hatch—about 30 days later. After the wave retreats, the antennae are quickly coiled and retracted into the body.

Here only one is being retracted. The sand crab always moves backwards when burrowing or crawling. Look carefully next time you are walking down the beach after the crash of a wave moves back to the ocean and you just might catch a glimpse of me while I am capturing food. No bigger than a thumb, a sand crab spends most of its time buried in shifting sand. I am quick to burrow to evade birds Sandpipers, scooters and plovers and fish surfperch, corbina and small sharks that key in on me as a food source.

Week # 5: Pacific Sand Crab, Emerita analoga

It differs from the spiny mole crab, Blepharipoda occidentaliswhich has spines on its carapace and pereopods and typically lives lower in the swash zone in California.

Mating occurs mostly in spring and summer. Archived from the original PDF on Volume 8 of Studies in Ecology 2nd ed. The genus as a whole has a broad distribution in tropical and subtropical regions. The sand crab has been evaluated as an indicator species for monitoring the level of domoic acid -synthesizing diatoms Pseudo-nitzschia spp.


Carapace is gray or greenish in color. Two views of the ventral side of a 3 cm carapace length preserved female from Monterey Bay, CA. When burrowing, swimming, or crawling, it always moves backwards. The sea otter also consumes them. The Old World species had been widely thought to form a monophyletic groupas did the New World species.

Her head, with its feathery antennae, is on the right. It has five pairs of legs and three pairs of pleopods.

The carapace has three teeth in front and is smooth except for small, transverse ridges on the anterior portion. The eyes are on long stalks and the antennules are also elongated so as to project above the surface of the sand.

University of California, Irvine.

Emerita analoga

Dorsal and ventral views of a emeriya male, 2. In some cultures, sand crabs are eaten as a popular snack, such as in Thailand and parts of India.

The left view shows the normal position of the abdomen and telson. The abdomen with its elongated telson photo is generally held reflexed underneath the thoraxbut is extended for rapid digging into the sand movie.

Ten species are recognised as of [update]: The sand crabs with soft shells that have just moulted are kept for bait, while the hard-shelled crabs analga thrown back into the sea. Locations, abundances, unusual behaviors: This Pacific Mole Crab sand crab is female based on the bright orange egg sac pictured here.


Week # 5: Pacific Sand Crab, Emerita analoga – Wildcoast

This page ekerita last edited on 19 Decemberat Those trying to capture me are able to identify my location by looking for subtle clues along the beach. The eggs hatch in about four weeks. Well camouflaged by its gray shell, a sand crab keeps its balance in the ever-moving sand with the help of a heavily armored, curved body and pointy legs.

ajaloga The adults reproduce in both their first and second summers and most die in the autumn of their second year. Both sexes have well-developed uropods but only females have pleopods 3 pairs. Alaska but rarely north of Oregon to Chile; Argentina.

Most individual species, however, are restricted to smaller areas, and their ranges rarely overlap.

Conservation Fishes, seabirds and shore birds are the main predators of sand crabs. As each wave retreats, it extends its antennae and catches floating organisms. The zoeal stages last up to days. The legs and uropods have hairy margins to assist in digging and for use in collecting food and transferring it to the mouth.