Nov 7, 2009: Species Sleuthing

Tideflat Critters

About a year ago Nathan brought in this strange-looking crab. It was about the same size as a regular shore crab, but it had a much different shape and nobody had ever seen anything like it on the beach. wierd-crab wierd-crab2 weird-crab3

After seeing a photo of a mottled-looking juvenile green crab at the recent Pacific Coast Shellfish Grower's Association conference, we got worried this might be an invasive European green crab. Green crab are bad news and have invaded beaches and estuaries along the Pacific Coast, although they haven't (yet) made it into Puget Sound. So we enlisted the help of some identification experts, and eventually got this response from Brian Bingham of Western Washington University:

This looks like a juvenile red rock as you say.  They are extremely variable in coloration and I have seen others similar to this.  The black tipped claws, the shape of the carapace and the clear teeth along the carapaces edges say Cancer productus. As you say, Lophopanopeus has a carapace that is much squarer.
So, we learn something new every day. For more about red rock crab, go here.

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  • Oyster Fan on

    hmm… a couple of other people are having trouble viewing the photos too. But they’re working on my computer. I’ll have to get into the wordpress files and see if there’s something amiss. Stay tuned!

  • bruce on

    Hi Oysterfan. Congrats on being up and running in the new building! FYI it could be on my end, but none of the pix you are posting are coming up. I have tried on both our home computers. Text is find, but no pix.



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