Ever heard of a crab as a pet? Well, now you have! Fiddler crabs, also known as calling crabs, are known to be popular as pets! Many people go out of their way to create suitable environments at home to provide all the comfort for the fiddler crabs. Fiddler crabs also show better adaptability with other crabs and fish as well! They also have many distinctive characteristics and traits; here we shall take a look at many such factors associated with fiddler crabs.
Fiddler Crabs: Description and Distribution There is perhaps a reason why the fiddler crabs have been given this name. This crab has been mainly given the name because of the presence of a large claw, which is fiddle shaped! The movement of the crab eating its food with the smaller claw gives the appearance of the crab playing the fiddle with the larger claw. The male fiddler crab has one single large claw on one side where as the female fiddler crab have two small feeding claws. They are also easily distinguishable because of their square shaped body. The males show a marked difference in size between the left and the right claw. Different types of species of fiddler crabs show different types of characteristics such as the Mud fiddler crabs are brown in color and the front area of the shell may have a shade that ranges from a basic blue to turquoise. The shell of the Sand fiddler crab has a pink shade, which also has a patch of purple in between.
Fiddler crabs are generally spotted in salty marshy areas, sandy beaches, mangroves, amongst the stones and boulders seen at the beach etc. Fiddler crabs occur mostly on the beaches of West Africa, Eastern Pacific, Western Atlantic and the Indo Pacific.
Fiddler Crabs: Interesting facts about their large claw In all the species, when fights generally take place amongst the fiddler crabs, males use their large claw to oppose each other. Males are also known to interlock these claws when they face each other in the opposite direction.
The enlarged claw in male fiddler crabs is used to attract the females. Male fiddler crabs wave this large claw at the females in order to get their attention.
During these fights between the males, which occurs during the courtship period, the male fiddler crab may end up losing its enlarged claw. In that case, a strange fact remains to be that the small claw then grows in size where as the lost (large) claw also grows back, but now it grows smaller in size!
Fiddler crabs also use their claws for burrowing activities. They are also known to be very important for the ecosystem. They are known to pick up chunks of sediment but while it nears the mouth, the contents of the sediment are sifted through. It eats various types of algae, fungi, microbes and other forms of decayed matter. Therefore, many experts claim that fiddler crabs play a very significant role for the environment.
Fiddler Crabs: Various Species There are many species and varieties of Fiddler crabs as studied by experts. It can be roughly said that there are around 100 species of the fiddler crabs existing in the wild. Mud fiddler crabs are found in marshy areas. They feed on organic matter that is derived from the mud. Sand fiddler crabs as the name itself suggests, are found on sandy areas and even muddy banks. Sand fiddler crabs are known to have spoon shaped bristles, which help it to procure food through sand. The red-jointed fiddler crab is found in freshwater areas and generally searches for food from the sandy substrates.
Fiddler crabs thus show many interesting traits and functions, which probably makes it an interesting subject for some to study! So the next time you hit the beach, maybe you can observe in person all these very strange yet interesting habits of the fiddler crabs!