04 July 2012

Sally lightfoot crab


While the death of Lonesome George consigned his subspecies to the oblivion of extinction (and don't try to tell me cloning might bring him back — it can't), not all Galápagos species are threatened with imminent extinction. These Sally lightfoot crabs (Grapsus grapsus) certainly seem to be thriving. On a grey day threatening rain, they added a delightful touch of colour to the lava rocks along the coast of Santa Cruz.


[6 September 2011, Panasonic Lumix GH1, 100–300 mm at 300 mm, ISO 400, 1/250 at f8]

All content © 2012 Pete McGregor

11 comments:

AJB said...

For as long as I can remember I've really wanted the name for SLCs to the 'Graspus graspus'. It's not but it should be. A quick GOOGLE sees that I'm apparently not alone...

Zhoen said...

Such extravagant colors.

Anne-Marie said...

A cousin of leptograpsus variegatus, perhaps? This chap looks to have the same grumpy temper, even if his colours are different.

Me from Cali said...

Beautiful pic. Striking creature.

Seeing that these fellows are ‘thriving’ I wonder how they would taste.

pohanginapete said...

Andrew, you have to wonder whether it was originally a mistake. I agree, though — it should definitely be Graspus graspus.

Zhoen, they're spectacular as adults like this; the juveniles are much less colourful (still impressive, though).

Anne-Marie, I was struck by how closely they resembled Leptograpsus despite the colour difference. These are much less wary, though, at least on the Galápagos. I decided not to check how grumpy they were, though ;^)

pohanginapete said...

Paul, looks as if we cross-posted. Thanks for the comment on the photograph — hard to go wrong with spectacular animals like this.

As for the taste, ... you'd have to ask the local herons ;^)

robin andrea said...

Fantastic colors! I think I'd like to see one of these beauties scurry by every morning for the rest of my life.

Relatively Retiring said...

Is he/she disguised when seen from above? It seems such a dangerously exhibitionist use of colours, but Sally Lightfoot is a great name for a crab - or anyone else really!

pohanginapete said...

Robin, they were one of the first animals I noticed on the Galápagos and I never got tired of seeing them.

RR, the adults are that spectacular red from above but the juveniles are much darker and can be cryptic on the lava rocks. Just why anything should be so dangerously exhibitionist (love your phrase) is beyond me.

butuki said...

I'd completely forgotten about them until I saw your photo. When I was a boy, one of the defining images of the Galapagos were the National Geographic images of the crabs. Since then I'd always wanted to get to the Galapagos, and the crabs are still iconic to me.

pohanginapete said...

Me too, Miguel — I knew I was on the Galápagos the moment I saw them. I know that sounds slightly odd, but initially I found it hard to believe I was really there.

I'd love to go back there.