Volume 6    Number 5

Arrow Crab with Menagerie
at Coral Gardens Reef near Belize

ReefNews photographer Jonathan Dowell found this Yellowline Arrow Crab among a menagerie of other reef creatures at Coral Gardens Reef near Belize. Dr. Dowell took this photo in March 2004 using a Canon A2 camera with a 28-105 mm lens in an Ikelite housing.

Use your mouse to find all seven of the reef creatures in this picture! Hover over each animal to display a highlight and label.

At the center of this picture is a large Yellowline Arrow Crab. One of the strangest crabs in the Caribbean, the Yellowline Arrow Crab has a cone-shaped body with eyes sticking out on either side of its head. Its long, gangly legs were each about 3 inches long. Like other crabs, the Yellowline Arrow Crab has 10 legs. Note the tiny purple claws on its two front legs.

This (1) Yellowline Arrow Crab was foraging among some broken branches of Sea Rod Corals. Most of the polyps of those broken branches were dead. But the broken branches were covered by (2) Encrusting Sponges and (3) Fire Corals. The branches also were providing shelter to other reef creatures, such as a (4) Bivalve Mollusk Frond Oyster and many (5) Algae Hydroids. Note that the Frond Oyster itself was covered by a Red Encrusting Sponge, lending a terrific highlight to the lightning-bolt pattern made by the edges of its two shells. There was a tiny (6) Pederson Cleaner Shrimp on the Frond Oyster and (7) a Christmas-Tree Worm on one of the Sea Rod branches. The worm was interesting, hanging upside down below the branch. The worm possibly had built its tube on the top of that branch, only to be turned over as the branch was flipped by the waves and surge of a storm.

Did you find all 7 of these creatures in the picture?

Compare this Yellowline Arrow Crab from Belize with the Yellowline Arrow Crab from Bimini in e-ReefNews Vol. 6 No. 5, at
How are these crabs similar? How are they different?

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