SCDNR: Snap photographs of non-native blue land crabs

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCBD) – Individuals dwelling alongside the South Carolina coast are inspired to report sightings of a non-native blue land crab.

The South Carolina Division of Pure Sources (SCDNR) on Friday mentioned these dwelling close to the coast who encounter what seems to be like an infinite fiddler crab ought to snap a photograph and report it to the company.

Biologists mentioned the stories will assist them be taught extra about the place the non-native species are spreading. It comes after SCDNR obtained quite a few stories of individuals recognizing the blue land crab, or Cardisoma guanhumi.

In response to SCDNR, the blue land crab is native alongside the Atlantic Coast from Brazil to south Florida – however occasional sightings of the massive crabs have been reported in South Carolina since 2018.

“Researchers don’t but know the extent of the crab’s distribution in South Carolina nor its affect on the setting and different wildlife,” mentioned SCDNR. “Whether or not the species arrived via pure growth of its vary or human-mediated sources can be not clear.”

Biologists mentioned blue land crabs can attain as much as six inches huge throughout the shell, making them comparable in measurement to native blue swimming crabs. “In contrast to our native blue crabs, they’re terrestrial, usually digging deep burrows inside a number of miles of coastal waterways,” SCDNR mentioned.

The burrows can lengthen as much as six toes deep searching for water, which may injury yards, gardens, and crop fields — it is one of many causes the crabs are thought of pests. The crabs have a choice to feed on fruit and vegetation.

By way of SCNDR

The crabs are available a wide range of colours – grownup males could have a blue-gray coloring whereas females can both be white or ash-gray and juveniles can range from orangish to darkish brown to purple. Additionally they have an unusually lengthy life span and develop slower in comparison with different crabs, being thought of mature at 4 years outdated and dwelling as much as eleven years, officers mentioned.

“Males will be differentiated from females by the form of the ‘apron’ on their undersides,” SCDNR mentioned. “Males have a skinny, pointy apron, whereas females have a large, domed apron.”

Whereas blue land crabs are eaten, they’re troublesome to catch.

Biologists are asking coastal state residents to take an image and report any blue land crabs sightings. Officers say the current heavy rain alongside South Carolina’s shoreline can drive the crabs out of their burrows making them simpler to identify.

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