Anemone Crab

Porcelain Anemone Crab Feeding In Space


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Lots of divers have seen Porcelain Anemone Crabs before, but few stop to wonder how they feed. Actually most crabs are scavengers, they will hunt at night eating dead or decaying fish and other organic waste they find, but some crabs have developed other ways of feeding to better suit their lifestyle.

As luck would have it you tend to find Anemone Crabs on, or under Anemone’s, if you find them on top of the Anemone usually just chilling out, stay and watch for a while and you will likely see them display one of two behaviors, the more common of which, is feeding. When they are atop the Anemone it’s fairly normal to see them swiping at the space around them with modified arms that have fine transparent fans at the ends, you can see it in the picture.

These scoops or fans, help them catch and shovel food into their mouths, literally as it washes past them on the Anemone. Getting photos of them doing this can sometimes be a bit of a struggle, as when they are startled they will go back to hiding under the Anemone, also they tend to cease feeding the moment you get too close to them, so you have to relax and be patient.

Also please don’t lift up the Anemone to see if there is a Crab underneath, that will not make for a good photo anyway as they will just be agitated and move around much quicker then their usual slow gait. Stick to the don’t touch policy and you will have a much better time with your macro photography.


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