Sunday, June 19, 2022

Sally Lightfoot Crabs

Sally Lightfoot crabs were the color, the spice, the accent to the other wildlife we encountered in the Galapagos Islands. They were rarely the star of the show, but always added to whatever we were viewing. They are not limited to the Galapagos Islands, but are found along the west coast of Central and South America. 
At Bachas Beach on Santa Cruz Island. 

At Elizabeth Bay, Isabela Island.
Adults are a deep blue and red with a white or pale blue underbelly. Younger crabs are darker with red spots. As the crabs moult their shells the spots get larger until they obtain adult coloration. 
At Espinoza Point on Fernandina Island. They seemed to be everywhere on Fernandina. 

They eat ticks off of the marine iguanas. 

At Tagus Cove with penguins. 
Charles Darwin collected them on his voyages of the Beagle and John Steinbeck wrote about how difficult they are to catch: "they have remarkable eyes and an extremely fast reaction time...They seem to be able to run in any of four directions; but more than this, perhaps because of their rapid reaction time, they appear to read the mind of their hunter." 

They were even more ubiquitous than the sea lions. 

1 comment:

  1. I was surprised at the variations, not only in color and patterns, but in body shape. Knowing that they morph as they get older helps explains the many differences, but it is still hard to believe they are all one species.