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Tree-Climbing Crab

Tree-Climbing Crab
Photo Information
Copyright: Ang Hwee Yong (Meerkat) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 20 W: 0 N: 896] (5258)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2005-08-07
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Nikon D70, AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR, hoya 77mm HMC UV[O]
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/50 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2006-04-21 5:26
Viewed: 5164
Points: 1
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Tree-climbing/Vinegar crabs
Episesarma spp.
Family Grapsidae

Size: 4-5 cm

Members of this wide ranging genus are usually burrowing crabs, digging holes at the base of trees and mud lobster mounds.

They are primarily leaf-eaters and are known as pests of mangrove plantations for their habit of attacking propagules. They will also scavenge meat like many other crabs. The Teochew are known to pickle this crab in black sauce with vinegar, and take it with porridge. The Thais like it salted, with the roe or simply fried whole.

They emerge at dusk to being feeding on the forest floor and have been observed climbing up trees to heights of more than 6 metres.

Tree-climbing crabs can be seen more easily in the day from the boardwalk at Sungei Buloh Nature Park during high tide.

At this time, however, they climb only high enough to clear the water level and remain motionless on tree-trunks, leaves or boardwalk legs.

This is probably a predator-avoidance behaviour, especially with the many predatory species of fish and crabs that hunt with the incoming tide. Out of the water, they remain motionless to avoid other predators like kingfishers, monitor lizards and otters.

Of the three species found in Singapore, the Violet vinegar crab (E. versicolor) is one of the most common species, with a distinctive violet palm and the fingers white-tipped. It prefers the seaward part of the mangroves.

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I think a better view would be good. The sharpness is less.

What a strange mammal ;-)

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