A Bubble Maker, the Sand Bubbler Crab
By: Nikarta Jana Barus
When we walk on Telunas Beach at low tide we can feel an unusual softness of the sand on our feet. This is because the beach is covered with millions of tiny spheres of sand. Who made these tiny balls? The answer is the Sand Bubbler Crab. At low tide the crabs emerge looking for food stored in the sand, in doing so they create the tiny balls of sand that look like bubbles. The crabs are often clustered in large numbers that can look like soldiers marching. If you approach them they may bury themselves in the sand (which they commonly do when they feel threatened).
The Sand Bubbler Crab is relative of the Soldier Crab (Dotilla) and prefers sandy areas. They have numerous stiff hairs on their legs, and lack the transverse row of abdominal hairs. Their hairs are instead located at the base of their legs, and are used for the same purpose as Dotilla’s.
Tan, L. W. H. and P. K. L. Ng. ” Sand Bubbler Crab: Scopimera.” A Guide to Seashore Life in Singapore. Singapore Science Centre. n.d. Web. 11 Feb 2014. <http://mangrove.nus.edu.sg/pub/seashore/text/193.htm>