This little crab caught my eye as it swam rapidly past me in the gulf yesterday. Since most of the crabs I’m familiar with tend to walk sideways on land (or the seafloor), my curiosity was piqued.
I used a nearby cluster of floating leaves to gently scoop up the crab and carried it to shore for a quick photo op. The crab didn’t seem all that perturbed by the detour, it occupied its time by chowing down on algae scraped from the leaves.
I’m glad I went to the effort because it was a rather handsome specimen – just look at that opalescent purple! Though I didn’t uncover a wealth of information about the species I was at least able to identify it as a male, Iridescent Swimming Crab (Portunus gibbesii). A very descriptive moniker!
And yes, he was carefully returned to the water afterwards.