Wild Florida Photo
Nature Photography by Paul Rebmann
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ATLANTIC GHOST CRAB
A common small crab of Florida's sandy beaches. The range extends along the coast from Massachusetts to Brazil.
The squarish carapace can be up to 5cm (2 in.) in length and is straw-colored or grayish-white, blending in well with their sand environment. The stalked club-like eyes swivel to allow the crabs to look all around for a 360 degree field of view but they cannot see directly above. The claws are unequal in size and white.
Primarily active at night, ghost crabs run swiftly sideways and live in burrows that they dig into the sand. Males will arrange their diggings into a pile near the entrance while females and juveniles will simply scatter the sand evenly around the hole. These crabs are omnivores, feeding on clams, insects, plant material, detritus, other crabs, sea turtle eggs and turtle hatchlings.