In my mind, at least until I did my research, this post was going to be called “Sand Crabs”.
So, I did what any modern researcher would do and went straight to Wikipedia and typed “sand crabs” in the search bar.
And then, I realized, it wasn’t going to be called sand crabs…
I hadn’t photographed sand crabs at all. I had photographed Atlantic ghost crabs (Ocypode quadrata).
Yes, you do learn something every day…
Anyway… ghost crabs are entertaining and intriguing to watch. One wonders if they are nervous, hyperactive, stressed, or all of these.
They’re fast. They move sideways. They always know where their burrow is. They adapt when their burrow is wiped out by a wave. They can move their eyes from a vertical orientation to a horizontal orientation. They look like E.T. when their eyes are horizontal. They eat seaweed and things we can’t apparently see. They vary in color and I learned that they can change color. They look at us like we’re strange as much as we look at them and think they’re strange. They can run really fast when there are little kids with a sand bucket and scoop chasing them.
If you find yourself on an Atlantic beach and want to photograph Atlantic ghost crabs, here are a few tips.
Sit in a low beach chair. If you can, lie on your stomach on a towel. Use a long zoom lens . Don’t move much – they don’t like that. Be observant. Be patient. Shoot early in the morning or late in the day for the optimal low angle light – if you shoot in the middle of the day, you’ll probably find that everything looks bright and washed out. And… have fun!
These photo tips will work for any crab on any beach you might find yourself on.
The Frog shot these images in Nags Head, NC with a Nikon 55-300VR zoom lens on a Nikon D7100 and then processed them in onOne Perfect Photo Suite 9.5.
There’s a new gallery on Laughing Frog Images dedicated to the Atlantic ghost crab. If you guessed that it’s called Ghost Crabs, you’re right!
Want a unique coffee mug or phone case? We’ve got you covered.
Or, for those with a warped sense of humor – how about a crab staring at people in your powder room or guest bathroom? (I don’t know where that came from, but it’s reasonable for me to think that Mrs. Frog wouldn’t let me do that!)