They called ghost crabs because they are translucent, and because of their ability to disappear from sight almost instantly. They are not only fast they change directions and blend in with the sand.
Check out this ghost crab's two black eyes on stalks, with very good 360° vision.
Ghost Crab burrow on beach
The ghost crab tunnels down three to four feet into the ground at a 45° angle, creating quarter size holes, which speckle the beach. At dusk, these crabs will sprint to the ocean in order to obtain oxygen from the water which washes over their gills
Ghost Crab hiding in seaweed
In the south eastern United States, ghost crabs can frequently be seen scurrying along beaches between sunset and dawn. For some reason this one ventured out in broad daylight.
Ghost Crab about to disappear
Ghost crabs are rather comical crustaceans. They are very difficult to spot because they blend in so well with the sand. Their stalked black eyes give them an extraterrestrial appearance.
If you are looking for ghost crabs the best time to spot them is at dusk or at night when the emerge from their burrows to scavenge the beach, looking for food.
This ghost crab is almost the same color as the beach sand.
Ghost crabs are well camouflaged. They do a good job of blending in with the color of the beach sand.
Ghost Crab caught away from it's hole
For some odd reason we saw this ghost crab moving about in broad daylight. That is so unusual since most of the time ghost crabs do not emerge from their burrows until after sunset.
I got between this ghost crab and his hole. Joyce has the camera. I was holding my hands out to keep his attention while Joyce was standing still taking pictures. As you can see he is making himself appear as large as he can. Note the two black eyes on stalks.
Ghost crabs have to wet their gills periodically for respiration. Scientist say ghost crabs maintain a little seawater in their bronchial chambers. When this supply of water needs to be replenished, ghost crab have to go to the shoreline and let a wave wash in far enough to wet him. He then quickly scampers back to the upper beach.
Ghost Crab burrow & seaweed
You can see the egg-sized entrance holes of ghost crab burrows in the dry sand of the upper beach, or in sand dunes. The burrows extend down 3-4 feet and generally at a 45-degee angle.
Ghost Crab in entrance to burrow
Tracks clearly mark the burrow entrance of this ghost crab. While ghost crabs do not generally make an appearance during the day this one was watching us from the entrance to his burrow.
Ghost crab hole on beach
The burrow generally slants down at a 45° angle, and has a turnabout chamber at the end. The tunnel home is constructed with wet grains of sand so that it will not collapse.
Ghost Crab burrow
Note how the burrow is angled at around 45-degrees.
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Mike & Joyce Hendrix
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