Maine – Beach Crabs

2024 April 21

The beaches around Bar Harbor were extremely crabby. Some of them were pretty good sized, like this one.

I think this one is a European Green Crab, Carcinus_maenas. They are native to the European side of the North Atlantic, but are considered invasive on temperate to semi-tropical beaches pretty much around the world. They could give a pretty good pinch with those claws of theirs, but we were careful and didn’t get pinched.

There were numerous types of big crabs, but they were not too common and were fairly hard to catch. There were lots of easily-captured little ones, though. I think the little ones were probably very young, and so I’m not having much luck indentifying them. So anyway, here’s a little speckled one that was about the width of my thumb;

And here’s a little brown one about the same size;

And here’s a little green one;

And here’s a little white one that we also got a picture of the underside;

And finally, here is an extremely cute little hermit crab living inside of a snail shell;

Sam found a large shell to use for a bowl, so we could get pictures of it in water;

Anyway, this is way more different kinds of crabs than we ever found on a single beach before. It really looks like stony beaches with a large tidal range and a lot of seaweed stuck to the rocks is exactly the sort of environment that crabs like.

2 Responses leave one →
  1. May 16, 2024

    Bar Harbor! The last trip my parents took was with us to Bar Harbor. It certainly brings back memories – lobster, dramatic coastline and the moderately early stages of dementia in my dad. Such fun!

    In all seriousness, it’s a lovely place to visit. I did some photography there, but not much.

    I thought briefly of diving there, but as I understand it, the ocean floor is sandy and boring. I guess the lobsters just scuttle about on the sand.

  2. May 19, 2024

    The diving probably isn’t as good as what you get in actual reefs, but we did go out with Diver Ed, and it looks like it isn’t so much “sandy bottom with a few things scuttling about” as it is “sandy/rocky bottom with a lot of things scuttling about”. He prowled around down there with a video camera so we could kind of watch over his shoulder, and then brought up a whole sack of scallops, sea cucumbers, sea stars, lobsters, crabs, and such sundry creatures. It turns out that if you take a sea cucumber out of the water, point it at a bunch of kids, and tickle it a bit, it makes a pretty serviceable squirt gun.

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