We’re so lucky to have such a beautiful Bay with all its fascinating critters. Better still we’ve got someone to turn to if we don’t know a critter’s name. The Melbourne Museum Discovery Centre has an excellent free service in species identification. All you need to do is email a good picture of your mystery species, noting where and when it was found and what it was doing.
Baykeeper recently found a large crab on the beach at Holloway Bend, but was unable to find any orange-coloured crabs in the Baykeeper library. The good people from the Museum have advised it’s a sand or surf crab Ovalipes australiensis.
Their two flattened back legs enable them to swim, and probably serve as shovels to help the crab dig backwards into the sand when threatened. Perhaps the two large dots are pretend eyes to fool a would-be predator into thinking they’re being stared down… just long enough for the crab to escape.
Many thanks to the Museum staff for cheerfully sharing their invaluable knowledge!