Question about soldier crabs

To: birding-aus <>
Subject: Question about soldier crabs
From: Jill Dening <>
Date: Sat, 11 Sep 2010 16:58:34 +1000
Hi Everyone,

As I watched a Beach Stone-Curlew eating small soldier crabs on Friday, it occurred to me that someone might have some knowledge about soldier crabs.

My question is: do soldier crabs form creches? And if so, for what purpose? And if not, why do they so frequently gather in these groups as described below?

Many times over the years, and now again, I am watching some very large soldier crabs gathering in large groups on the intertidal sandbanks in Noosa, SEQ. At the same time, only metres away, I also see large congregations of very much smaller soldier crabs, accompanied by a few very large crabs. I know nothing about the life cycles of crabs. It has always looked to me like the smaller crabs are being babysat by a few large ones whilst the adults are off at a party. Well, that's the anthropomorphic interpretation :-), but there has to be an answer.


Jill Dening
Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

26° 51' 41"S  152° 56' 00"E

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