Crabs of Lanzarote
Skipper and First Mate Millard (Big Bear and Pepe)
Wed 26 Nov 2008 22:50
The Crabs of Lanzarote - Jameos del Agua to be precise
These chaps have got their own blog because there are so many nuts out there who study them. They are unique. If you go on-line and type in Munidopsis Polymorpha, hundreds of studies from dribbling professors appear. They really do need to get a life and get out more, but not with other scientists.
I am a cancerian and am a self confessed addict when it comes to crabs, I have one tattooed on my right thigh, for heavens sake, that measures 4" x 3". I don't personally eat them, I don't mind people who do. I know how to cook them and I serve them regularly to my skipper as per previous blogs. I appreciate them for their comedic charm, feisty character, sideways scuttling and one of my lifelong ambitions is to go to Christmas Island at migration time to see thousands of Red Land Crabs race to the sea to "shake their booty down", opening their carapace in the sea to release hundreds of eggs, before trotting back to the forest.
If you ask me to picture a crab I will come up with one of the following:
A Stone Crab. A Mud Crab even a 14 pound King Crab, but NOT a Blind Cave Crab that measures about the size of QUARTER of a POSTAGE STAMP.
I belong to Genus: Homo Species: Sapien - Just take a look at these chaps.
Superphylum: Bilateria: Prostomia
Species: Munidopsis polymorpha
Conclusion: If they were 10 feet across I could accept it, but 10mm !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Plus they are hardly the Viggo Mortensen / Brad Pitt of the crab world.
The galatheid Munidopsis Polymorpha Koelbel, 1892, is found at high population density in an anchialine pool (Jameos del Agua) on Lanzarote. Ovigerous females on an average carry 1-4 eggs. Larval development is advanced. Only 2 zoeal stages, which are unable to undergo locomotion, precede molt to a small crab. Munidopsis polymorpha is not preyed upon in the Jameos del Agua. Population density is regulated less by available food than by the number of available hiding places for resting phases. Population density is probably increased by the fact that the highly territorial crabs periodically alternate in feeding in the same grazing areas and in hiding. The percentage of ovigerous females and the average number of eggs per female is negatively correlated with the number of specimens per area. During the years of investigation from 1976-1989, the number of ovigerous females and the average number of eggs per female have decreased considerably in parts of the pool. Consequently, the general population density has become drastically reduced. This is attributed to the construction and opening of the Jameos del Agua for tourism.
The man studied them for 13 years. Dedication or what.
These little chaps are what all the fuss is about. All the white dots in the last photo I took in the Jameos del Agua are actually crabs.
Four of them.
All in all an unexpected blog, I feel better for it. Good to hear it.