Wednesday, June 08, 2005
Labrador's all time favourite crab - the hairy crab
Pilumnus vespertilio is also called the Common hairy crab or the Teddy-bear crab! And when I say favourite, I mean as in personality and not palatability, so stop salivating.
Unlike the vicious swimming crabs or teh aggressive grapsids and the feeling rock crabs, the hairy crab seems to be the most gentle-natured of all the crabs in Labrador and our favourite!
After some initial efforts to move away, it will eventually rest in your palm, usually evicting squeals of "how sweet" from visitors to Labrador.
It is not a good idea to think of eating this small crab since other than seaweed, it may eat toxic zoanthids (colonial anemones) which can make this crab mildly poisonous.
It looks hairy because the body is covered by long hairs. These are slightly suspended when submerged in water and trap sediments, allowing the crab to blend into its surroundings by breaking the body outline.
It is slow moving and rarely seen unless you know where to look - under rocks in a specific zone along the shoreline. Yueat Tin had a look last month (May 2005) and took this photo.
Airani will be bringing the crew of the Malay magazine programme 647 to Labrador tomorow (09 Jun 2005) and promised to show them her favourite crab, the teddy-bear crab, so its going to get famous!