The creepy, creepy crab was out last night, so I grabbed the camera to try to snap a photo of him. He’s one of the biggest “surprise” hitchhiker crabs we’ve seen in one of our tanks, and he gives me goosebumps and shudders, especially when he moves. I am not a crab person.

Can you see him, munching away on algae in the top-left? You can see the sandy top of his body, the dark brown underside, two lavender-ish eyes, and brown/maroon front claws. His back right legs are also visible, very hairy. (The blurry triangle in the foreground on the right is a hermit crab, much more acceptable.) However, in the next shot on the right side, suddenly there was an extra pair of even larger, even hairier legs and a pair of huge black claws.

Ugh, even the pictures make me shiver. On the other side of the rock, I was able to see his face (grumpy thing) – black carapace, and the curve of his right foreclaw – that is WAY too big for my comfort level.

We’re probably going to have to figure out how to trap him, something recently ate our brand new peppermint shrimp (although the cleaner shrimp is still fine, and still setting up cleaning stations for the fish each afternoon) and my money is on this guy. The line on crabs is that they’re opportunistic scavengers. In an ideal world, they just eat algae (a good thing). But if they can get big enough to catch fish or eat corals, they will. The other line on crabs is that some stay small, and some grow to be a foot or more across, so if you don’t know that it’s a small species, you might as well assume it will get big enough to shift your rockwork and cause huge problems. Ugh. I hate trapping crabs. I spent a while watching these ones with the flashlight, and then went to bed and every time I closed my eyes my brain just replayed the way their legs move.

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