Friday, September 30, 2011

Classy Lady... Crab

The ladies from my last post were classy, and so are this Crabday's crabs:

The Lady Crab!
Ovalipes ocellatus

the name's 'Lady', 'Miss Jackson' if you're nasty

Lady crabs roam all over the east coast from Georgia up to Canada! I saw them a lot when I was beachcombing on Long Island.

peek-a-... oh wait.

Another name for the lady crab is the calico crab (or the sand crab... so bland). Careful when you think of 'calico crabs' though, because O. ocellatus is not to be confused with another calico crab Hepatus epheliticus. The lady-crab-version of calicos are swimming crabs, like the blue crabs and devil crabs we've seen. (Unlike blue crabs, they're not really considered tasty, so humans leave 'em alone. Other animals eat them though, including lobsters!)

look at her pretty swimmerettes!
(photo from here)

Telling the two calicos apart is pretty easy. For one, the swimmerettes are kind of a give-away (H. epheliticus doesn't have them). But if that doesn't do it, just think: the lady/calico crab O. ocellatus has little dappled spots like an ocelot! Eh? EH?

you see it?

OK. So this crab may be a lady (though, obviously, there are male Lady Crabs... I think they prefer the name 'sand' in that case), but she's a fighter: these crabs are known to be aggressive, and are not afraid to use their sharp chelae in order to defend themselves.

Lady crab: "Poke me and find out what happens."

Stay classy, Lady Crab!

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