Saturday, March 12, 2011

Calico Box Crab

Calico Box Crab (Hepatus epheliticus) Molting:

We maintain a large collection of crustaceans and at least one of them molts each week. Usually it’s a blue crab (
as we have many of them, but sometimes it’s something less common such as the lobster; it is fascinating to witness but unusual to catch in progress. This can be a dangerous experience for crustaceans as they are soft and exposed during this time and must be able to fully extract itself by themselves from the old shell; excellent water quality and a proper diet are essential to new shell formation.

Recently, I was able to film a calico box crab - a very attractive and docile crab species – in the process of molting as another crab watches in the background. In only about ten minutes this crab emerged about 20% larger, with a bright new shell. In a few days it will be fully hardened and eating again.

Follow this link to watch the calico crab pulling from its old shell:

1 comment:

  1. Wow how lucky that you were able to catch that on film!

    How often does a crab molt its shell?