A photo a day from Oriental, NC, the surrounding Pamlico County area, and nearby rivers, creeks, bays and other waterways of coastal North Carolina.

Oriental Daily Photo is a member of the City Daily Photo blog network.
See daily photos of other towns and cities around the world at:

Sunday, July 20, 2008

7.19- Shore Crab and Sea Slaters

After seeing a mink hauling a small crab across the rip-rap South Avenue breakwater the other day, I decided to try to find some of the crabs today, successfully as you can see.

This is some type of Shore Crab, though I haven't been able to identify the particular type. Its' body is perhaps a tad over one inch wide. I often see these crabs, but they are usually scurrying away into hiding under the rocks along the breakwater. This one settled in a spot that allowed me to capture the photo.

The crab is holding (and munching on) the remains of what I have learned is a "Sea Slater," also informally known as Rock Louse, Beach Cockroach, or Wharf Roach.

I will post a picture of live Sea Slaters in the future. Sea Slaters are Marine Isopods of the genus "Ligia," which includes 39 very similar looking species. All have seven pairs of legs.

Sea Slaters have gills, which they must keep damp by dipping their hinies into water, but they will not survive underwater. They usually cluster on rocks that are kept wet by the waves, but after a rain they will swarm up the sea wall and cover the edge of South Avenue.


No comments: