Volume 5    Number 15

Arrow Crab Prowls the Wreck of the Kissimmee
near Cayman Brac

Arrow Crab Prowls the Wreck of the Kissimmee near Cayman Brac

It can be fun to explore a shipwreck. The shipwrecks near Cayman Brac are not actually wrecks. Rather, they are ships that were sunk on purpose to make attractions for both divers and fishes. Shipwrecks make such great hiding places for all kinds of marine life that you can expect to see all kinds of animals on, in, and near these artificial reefs.

Diving on a wreck at night is no exception. I got to dive on the wreck of the Kissimmee near the north shore of Cayman Brac in October 2003. I got to see Spotted Lobsters, Brittle Stars, thousands of Snails, and this magnificent Arrow Crab.

Arrow Crabs are pretty small. With their legs stretched out, they might be able to reach 5 or 6 inches. They walk across the reefs and shipwrecks like little robots, stepping with their long, nimble legs. Their bodies are shaped like cones, and their eyes stick out on either side of this body about halfway between the bottom and the top.

Notice the two purple claws on its two arms. This Arrow Crab was turned sideways, facing the left side of this picture. Also notice the short antennae sticking up from its body just above its eyes. And the red and white stripes on its body keep going in continuous stripes down its legs.

This Arrow Crab was walking on the hull of the wreck of the Kissimmee. All kinds of algae and hydroids covered the hull.

ReefNews photographer Jonathan Dowell took this photo using a Nikonos V camera with a 28 mm lens with a 1:2 macro closeup tube.



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