Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Convex Crabs in Love

Photo Copyright 2010 by Barry Fackler

Recently, I was swimming through a lava tube when I saw a Convex Crab (Carpillus convexus) hiding under a small ledge. It was partially obscured by a rock, but the crab remained still which is uncharacteristic of the type. After taking a few photos, I decided to move the rock since the animal was being so agreeable. It was then I saw that it was perched upon another Convex Crab that was flipped on its back.

Photo Copyright 2010 by Barry Fackler

For all my years of diving, I had never given much thought to how crabs go about making little baby crabs so I wasn't certain of what I was looking at. Other than mating, I thought it could be a territorial dispute or maybe even slow-motion cannibalism. After getting back to my computer, I confirmed my original opinion that this was, indeed, sweet crustacean love-making.

 Photo Copyright 2010 by Barry Fackler

The process looks pretty clumsy for two participants who are fairly graceless to begin with, but it obviously works out well as crabs are not in short supply!

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