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Christmas Island Rainforest - With Crab

Christmas Island Rainforest - With Crab
Photo Information
Copyright: James Parker (Jamesp) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-04-24
Categories: Crustacia
Camera: Canon EOS 1Ds MkII, Canon 24-70 mm f 2,8 L-USM
Exposure: f/3.2, 1/80 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Christmas Island [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-06-08 5:20
Viewed: 8517
Points: 28
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I am off to Northumberland this weekend and will be visiting the bird colonies on the Farne Islands - weather permitting!

Selen asked me if my next posying would be rainforest - so here it is. The rainforest on Christmas Island is unique - as are the crabs - and most of the other wildlife - it is sometimes refered to as the 'Galapagos of the Indian Ocean'.

Photography is rainforest - or any forest can be difficult - light conditions are dim and shafts of light lead to 'burned-out' areas. I did not have a tripod with me because of luggage restrictions on the flight from Perth.

Christmas Island is located in the Indian Ocean at 10 25'S and 105 40'E. It is approximately 2800 km west of Darwin, 2600 km north-west of Perth, and 360 km south of the Indonesian capital of Jakarta.

RED CRAB:- The Christmas Island red crab is by far the most obvious of the 14 species of land crabs found on Christmas Island. It is estimated that 120 million of these bright red land crabs live in their preferred shady sites all over the island.

Bright red is the common colour but there are the occasional orange specimens and more rarely some purple animals. They are a big crab. An adult body shell (or carapace) may measure up to 116mm across. The Christmas Island red crabs' carapace is round shouldered and encloses their lungs and gills. Their claws are usually of equal size unless one is a regrowing claw. Males grow larger overall than females, while females have a much broader abdomen and usually have smaller claws than males. However young Christmas Island red crabs all have the characteristic narrow abdomen of the male. The broader abdomen on the female Christmas Island red crab only becomes apparent in the third year of growth.

Christmas Island red crabs grow slowly, reaching about 40mm in carapace width after 4-5 years. They are sexually mature at this age and begin to participate in the breeding migrations.

The Christmas Island red crabs moult their shells regularly during their early growth phases to match their increasing body size. Moulting usually takes place in the protected moist environment of their burrows. Mature Christmas Island red crabs probably moult only once a year, as their growth rate slows.

RAINFOREST: - Dense rainforest has evolved in the deep soils of the plateau & on some terraces. The forests are dominated by 25 tree species. Ferns orchids & vines flourish on the branches in the humid atmosphere beneath the canopy. The 135 species of flora include 16 which can only be found on Christmas Island. There are fewer vines & understorey shrub plants than in the related neighbouring Indo-Malaysian rainforests. Red Crabs eat the leaf litter, abundant tree fruits & seedlings lying on the forest floor.

angybone, Aramok, SelenE, uleko, nglen, garyfudge, pablominto, JPlumb, ramthakur, delic has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

What a wonderful combination of textures and colors! THere's something about this that makes the presence of the crab very unexpected - in a good way! :)

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2007-06-08 9:09]

Hi James,
Thank you :o) I appreciate your taste of travel and the destinations you choose; you have a great taste! I know how hard it is to take photos especially without a tripod in the rainforest. So the burnt out parts are acceptible. Composition and details are very nice.

Wish you a good trip in Northumberland, you are going to a sea-birds heaven. Hope you come back especially with lots of good Puffin and Guillemot shots :o)


  • Great 
  • hester Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
  • [2007-06-08 13:04]

Hi James

Nice bright crab and I like the lush environment he is living in. Lovely colours and an attractive composition.

I hope the weather is nice for your trip, I can't wait to see the puffin pictures



  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2007-06-08 13:14]

Hello James,
I remember seeing a nature film about these red crabs! Fascinating! You've captured this one very well in a nice wet environnment. Great sharpness and a nice composition.
Farne Island must be wonderful - I hope you'll have a good "shooting" time there!
TFS and regards, Ulla

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2007-06-08 16:13]

Hi James. The Crab stand out so well in the lush green of the forest. A very nice compostion. Have a good weekend look foward to the results .

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2007-06-09 3:12]

Hi James,
Splendid shot. The ambience and the mood of the rain forest is illustrated well and the red crab is a special bonus. A wonderful place to be in for the sheer experience of it. Very nicely composed and presented. Kudos.

Hi James,

how'd you manage to see him in the first place?!

Nice colour saturation.
I'm off to Northumberland in a couple of months, probably do the same.


  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-06-09 23:08]

Hello James

The red crab looks very goods against that shade of green.Well composed in the frame,with sharp details.Very nice rich colours.TFS


Hello James,
Wonderful colour contrast, making the little fellow stand out really well!
Well composed and with fine details!
Pablo -

Hi James,
a very nice picture with lovely colours and good POV.
Very good details and composition.
The red crab look abit sad. ;-)
Well done.

Hi James,
This is a great image of this very interesting crab. I image it would be very difficult conditions in the rainforest to take photos. I haven't had an opportunity to try yet. This is nice with all the wet moss and vegetation.

  • Great 
  • JPlumb Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 618 W: 158 N: 896] (2904)
  • [2007-06-10 21:18]

Hi James, great shot of this Red Crab in the rainforest. It looks wet and very natural. The moisture and sun mix has contributed to the highlights problem but still it all looks very good with excellent detail and colour.

Thanks, John

My internet connection had had some kind of a problem, James, and for four days I was off TN. Apparently, I missed quite a few pictures.

This is a brilliant capture of a red Crab from the rain forests of Australia. The degree of difficulty in terms of shooting conditions is substantial in all rain forests, as your note suggests. However, you have done a grand job here. The ambience of a rain forest is unmistakable in this shot.
Well done and TFS.

  • Great 
  • delic Gold Star Critiquer [C: 440 W: 6 N: 310] (898)
  • [2007-06-16 14:30]

Hi James,
Excellent environmental portrait of the crab. Its color provides striking contrast with the lush green. I also like how the crab is about hold onto the branch to walk down. Best wishes,

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