Red Rock Crab

Red Rock Crab

This red rock crab is probably getting ready to molt.  The presence of barnacles tells us that it is an old carapace.

Plentiful on our beaches, this gorgeous flaming brick red crab can be found scuttling along in pools and puddles.  Look for their black tipped claws and 5 rounded scallops between their eyes to differentiate from other crabs.

If a crab is hiding down in the sand, it could have just molted and is protecting its new soft shell. Leave it alone.

DO NOT HANDLE this crab.  Their claws are powerful enough to give a painful pinch and in some cases, break a tiny finger.

If you find a dead red rock crab, it is a good one to investigate.  Look at the amazing structures and plates that come together like a suit of armor.

Look at the underside to determine gender.

IMG_8413

Females have a bee hive looking structure on their underside.  This structure is a flap that drops down when the yellow orange spongy egg mass begins to protrude

IMG_8323

Males have what looks like a lighthouse on their underside.