Friday, April 27, 2012

I'd call this crab Wartimer

No need for the Freeze Away®, folks. You're going to love this Crabday's wart-riddled crab:

Warty Crab
Eriphia verrucosa

This crab was brought to my attention by one of the Snow Crab Love followers on facebook. Despite its name, the warty crab is quite pretty. It's also known as the yellow shore crab but gets the warty reputation from the tubercles found on its claws.

see the awesome tubercles?

This rocky intertidal crab (living on the coastlines up to 15 meters in depth) can be found in the Black Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Atlantic Ocean. However, the warty crab has decreased in the Black Sea, being listed as endangered in the Ukrainian Red Data Book. This is not only bad for our little crab friend, but also for the rest of the Black Sea community. Warty crabs are the only native animal strong enough to crack the shells of invasive snails, Rapana venosa, who have made their entrance into the Black Sea due to warmer water conditions. (Remember learning about the ongoing battle between crabs and snails here?)

"Bring it!"
(you can see more amazing pictures of these snails here
and the crab photo was from here)

Aside from invasive snails, the warty crab likes to eat polychaetes, bivalves, and even hermit crabs! While not eating, they use rocks and anemones to hide and protect themselves from becoming eaten.


OK, I guess that's enough! I hope you enjoyed learning about this beautiful bumpy crab!

Read more:
Ozcan, T., T. Katagan, and A. Kocatas. 2005. Brachyuran crabs from Iskenderun Bay (Southeastern Turkey). Crustaceana 78: 237-243.

Rossi, A. C., and V. Parisi. 1973. Experimental studies of predation by the crab Eriphia verrucosa on both snail and hermit crab occupants of conspecific gastropod shells. Bolletino di Zoologia 40: 117-135.

1 comment:

  1. Have you heard of how giant African land snails are pretty much only kept under control in some islands by land crabs? While some snails can eat crabs, apparently crabs are overall far more important as a form of pest control for them.