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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The genus as a whole has a broad distribution in tropical and subtropical regions. Note how the abdomen with lits analofa, pointed telson is folded loosely underneath the body.

Pacific Sand Crab (Emerita analoga) ·

It burrows backwards into the sand and faces the sea. It appears temporarily on Washington beaches mainly after warm events such as El Nino years.

Sand crabs are a major food source for shore birds and for some kinds of fish. This is the only local species of Emerita.

The abdomen and telson are used for rapid digging into the sand as each wave begins to recede. As each wave advances and retreats, the crab comes to the surface and extends its antennae to feed.

Emerita analoga

Since sand crabs live in sand—the area of the ocean most often contaminated by toxins—they play an important role in the beach ecosystem. Views Read Edit View history. Between Pacific Tides 5th ed. Note how the carapace is egg-shaped and the animal keeps its legs and other appendages folded underneath, maintaining a 3-dimensional egg-like contour. For two to four months, the larvae drift as plankton, and currents may carry them long distances.


Humans with a quick hand have a shot at capturing me for amature science observation. Note the lack of pleopods on the abdomen. It can be detected when it pops up in shallow water behind the latest advancing wave, and also by the V-shaped wake its antennae make as it filters the retreating wave. The sea otter also consumes them. The sand crab retreats under the sand surface as each wave goes out, maximizing its chance of being out of reach of the bird’s beak.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Week # 5: Pacific Sand Crab, Emerita analoga

General Notes and Observations: Within a wave or two it will again pop up and ride the wave to a new spot; thus remaining in the swash zone as the tide advances and retreats along the beach. The barred surfperch Amphistichus argenteusfound off the coast of California, consumes a large number of sand crabs.

To feed, emeriga crabs burrow backward into the sand and face seaward, with only their eyes and first antennae showing. The adults reproduce in both their first and second summers and most die in e,erita autumn of their second year. Her head, with its feathery antennae, is on the right.

When burrowing, swimming, or crawling, it always moves backwards.

Although not very conspicuous, they are one of the most abundant animals on sandy beaches of Southern California. 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. The sand crabs with soft shells that have just moulted are kept for bait, while the hard-shelled crabs are thrown back into the analkga.

It has a tough exoskeleton and can hold its appendages close to the body, allowing it to analkga in the tidal currents and waves. In other projects Wikimedia Commons. These birds actively patrol the part of the beach washed by incoming waves, probing the softened sand with their bills.


I am quick to burrow to evade birds Sandpipers, scooters and plovers and fish surfperch, corbina and small […] Share this: Hippidaein the Americas”. As the tide changes, Emerita changes emeritx position on the beach; [5] most individuals stay in the zone of breaking waves.

Tam; Irv Kornfield 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. Ten species are recognised as of [update]: Hippa analoga Stimpson, This page was last edited on 19 Decemberat This female is carrying eggs see photo below. In both views the abdomen has been artificially extended.

Articles with ‘species’ microformats. Inhabit the swash zone emreita the waves sweep up the beach and then retreat again. Both sexes have well-developed uropods but only females have pleopods 3 pairs. Ricketts ; Jack Calvin; David W. Dorsal and ventral views of a preserved male, 2.

The use analota molecular phylogenetics has shown, however, that E. Photo by Jon Sullivan. The head is to the right in this photo. Sand Crabs are known as an indicator species that can highlight poor environmental health in coastal ecosystems.