Pic of the Day – Soft Coral Crab

Soft Coral Crab – Hoplophrys oatesti

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…

Awoosh.com Images

About Judy G Diver

Born and raised on the west coast of Canada, I have always felt a strong connection to the sea. But for many years, I stayed on the surface, afraid of what lurked down deep. When I was in my early 30's, with three young children (aka the P's), my husband (aka Mr G) signed us up for a SCUBA certification course, as a surprise. Although I had my fears, my stubbornness prevailed, and somehow I made it through four murky, frigid, cold water dives in Vancouver to successfully pass the course. Soon after we went diving off the west coast of Mexico, in the Sea of Cortez, where my eyes were opened to the beauty and other-worldliness of the life down under. And the rest, as they say, is history. I currently have well over 2000 dives under the belt, and I have been fortunate to travel extensively in Asia, Australia, Fiji, Galapagos, Costa Rica, California, the Caribbean, Mexico and here in British Columbia. After shooting hefty DSLRs for many years, I just switched over to a groovy Olympus Micro Four Thirds camera, in a Nauticam housing, with dual Sea & Sea strobes and a bag full of lenses. In addition to this blog and my personal website (Awoosh.com/Directory), which is linked at the top of the blog, my stuff has been widely published in a variety of magazines and websites, including an ongoing regular monthly feature on Scubadiving.com. All links to this work can be found in this blog.
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