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Saltwater crustacean

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#1 gzeiger

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Posted 25 June 2016 - 05:47 PM

Maybe should go in the invertebrates section, but it is an ID question.


These things are up to about an inch long, living buried in sand. I was catching them just above the water line, but presumably they are present underwater also. They swim reasonably well when dropped in the water. These were caught on the north shore of the Delaware bay. I have seen something similar (indistinguishable to me) on Coronado Island off San Diego. The water was essentially full salt at this point. The only other sign of life on the beach was horseshoe crabs.Attached File  critter 1.jpg   144.43KB   0 downloadsAttached File  critter 2.jpg   131.68KB   0 downloadsAttached File  critter 3.jpg   71.34KB   1 downloadsAttached File  critter 4.jpg   68.16KB   0 downloadsAttached File  critter 5.jpg   90.92KB   0 downloads

Edited by gzeiger, 25 June 2016 - 05:48 PM.

#2 Isaac Szabo

Isaac Szabo
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  • Marble Falls, AR

Posted 25 June 2016 - 06:13 PM

Crustacean in the genus Emerita, possibly E. talpoida. Commonly called sand crabs, sand fleas, or mole crabs.

#3 Moontanman

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Posted 25 June 2016 - 10:33 PM

Mole crabs, they make good fish bait and at certain times of the year they are weighted down by egg sacks that make great fish food! 


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#4 gerald

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  • Wake Forest, North Carolina

Posted 26 June 2016 - 09:24 AM

In case you're wondering whether to try keeping any, I've heard they do not survive long-term in aquariums.  They will exhaust themselves and die trying to get back to the wave/beach interface where they belong. 

Gerald Pottern
Hangin' on the Neuse
"Taxonomy is the diaper used to organize the mess of evolution into discrete packages" - M.Sandel

#5 Cu455

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Posted 26 June 2016 - 04:52 PM

I tried keeping them once but they only lasted a few weeks.

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