Back to the Crabfest, again. There are a lot of strange crustaceans out there, and this is yet another.
This little beauty is a Soft Coral Crab (Hoplophrys oatesti). Like its name suggests, it is commonly found on soft corals, specifically reddy/pinkish soft corals. The challenge, as is often the case with little critters like this, is actually finding them. This particular little guy is both well camouflaged, and about half an inch in size. So I am going to confess, that although I have several images of these wee crabs that I have taken around Indonesia, I have never actually found one on my own. A skilled and patient dive guide has always been a key factor in getting the pix.
The shot above is a little unusual as the crab is perching on the stem of the soft coral, so not buried deep in the ‘blossoms’ (polyps), where they are usually found. That was a happy thing, and allowed me to get a clear shot of the entire critter.
Here is another soft coral crab, this one also from Indonesia. This is a more common perspective of these camera shy little b*stards…