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Sand Bubbler Crab from Andaman

Sand Bubbler Crab from Andaman
Photo Information
Copyright: Subhash Ranjan (sranjan) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 489 W: 63 N: 1877] (5784)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-12-11
Categories: Crustacia
Camera: Olympus Sp 510uz
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2009-01-17 1:18
Viewed: 5904
Points: 18
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
While roaming on the beaches of the Port Blair, I noticed many small sand balls very well organized in the radiating fashion soon after beginning of the low tide with receding tidal waters. I kept on waiting for the great finagle of this show; and to my surprise, I found this small creature of approximately 0.5 cm diameter with a tiny sand ball bombarding to one of the radials as shown above :)
Sand Bubbler Crab
Family Ocypodidae
Order Decapoda

The sand bubbler crab lives in dense populations along the coast on the islands of Andaman & Nicobar archipelago. I have shot it at Chidiya Tapu (southern tip of South Andaman). Body diameter ranges from 0.5 to 1.5cm.

When low tide exposes a beach, these crabs emerge from their burrows beneath the sand. They begin feeding by collecting sand and quickly sifting it in search of microscopic food (detritus) between each grain, inadvertently cleaning the sand. When the sand is stripped of any nutrition, the crab gathers it into a sphere (or "sand bubble") and tosses it behind their legs.

Argus, boreocypriensis, eqshannon, valy67, hester, jaycee, CeltickRanger has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2009-01-17 1:57]

Hello Subhash,
A fine capture of this tiny well-camouflaged crab, not seen before on TN.
Well seen with good sharpness and well described in your note.
Thanks for sharing this,
Best regards,

Hi Subhash, what a minute crab spider. This is novelty for me my friend. You captured it perfectly though it has well camoflage colours.
TFS this great capture my friend! Have a wonderful weekend!


What an interesting surprise..It brings back memories of small sand crabs, but bigger than this, I saw in Florida in eh 1950's with mother and father...I am wondering now if some were as small as this..a very interesting and enlightened lesson Dr Ranjan!

  • Great 
  • valy67 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1727 W: 59 N: 3060] (9219)
  • [2009-01-17 10:44]

Hello Subhash !
Wow, this one must have been hard to see, it is really tiny, and he has such an excedllent camouflage ! I also like the little balls of sand. All in all a very nice picture, something we do not see very often, and thus it is precious. Very well done !

  • Great 
  • hester Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
  • [2009-01-17 10:53]

Hi Subhash
This is a wonderful example of camouflage. Well done for spotting and capturing this little crab. You caught some lovely details.



  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2009-01-17 12:24]

Hi Subhash,

Your watching and waiting paid off! This tiny sand crab amongst all the sand balls is amazing. It shows up very well even though they are all the same colors. Excellent details and composition. A fascinating post.


  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2009-01-17 16:51]

Hi Subhash,finally somethnig new on TN,i never seen a specie like that in the gallery,the crab is little but isn't easy to take in this terrible background,My best compliments,have a nice Sunday,Luciano

hello Subhash

a superbly camouflaged crab with his environment
shot with fine POV, beautiful warm luminosity,
excellent sharpness and details, TFS


  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2009-01-18 8:15]

Subhash, Fine capture and you need a macro to shoot on close distance. The shot and the sorrounding indicate the crab very well. Ganesh

Hi Subhash,

Nice to see for a change you are grounded :),yes its good camouflaged image of this tiny crab, well observed & captured.tfs.

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