Mangrove Tracking V: A Maverick Crab
Posted by KristenM on June 27th, 2012
Mayda Nathan/University of Maryland
Today we spotted a mangrove tree crab (Aratus pisonii
) enjoying nectar from a black mangrove flower. It was surprising enough to find Aratus all over these black mangroves, at the very northern edge of the mangrove range in Florida; it was even more astonishing to see this one’s very un-crablike behavior! Aratus are known omnivores – consumers of mangrove leaves, propagules, insects, even other Aratus – but we’ve never thought of them as floral visitors. They are normally extremely shy, but this particular Aratus was so blissed out by its sugary meal that it didn’t mind (or notice) as we snapped pictures and gawked.
-Mayda Nathan, graduate student (University of Maryland)