Emerita analoga (Stimpson, ). Common name(s): Pacific sand crab, sand crab, mole crab. Synonyms: Hippa analoga, 3 cm preserved female. Scientific Name. Emerita analoga. Animal Type. Invertebrates. Diet. plankton, mostly dinoflagellates. Size. females: to 2 inches ( mm); males inches. Pacific Sand Crab (Mole Crab). Emerita analoga. Decapoda: Hippidae. Laguna Beach, Orange County, CA. 06/11/ © Peter J. Bryant. Back to Natural History.

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Its legs and uropods have hairy margins for rapid digging in the sand, for filtering food and transferring it to the mouth. The Pacific sand crab is one of the few species specializing in the swash zone of wave-swept sandy beaches.

Photos by Dave Cowles Dorsal view. As the tide falls, the sand is allowed to settle; when Emerita detects this, it uses the temporary liquefaction from a breaking wave to emerge from its burrow, and analogz carried down the beach by the wave action.

Due to the Emerita being the predominant diet of the barred surfperch, surf fisherman use sand crabs as bait.

Pacific Sand Crab, Emerita analoga

The eggs hatch in about four weeks. It can do this several times per wave. Tam; Irv Kornfield Hippa analoga Stimpson, In Oregonthe populations seem not to be self-sustaining and recruitment is largely from larvae originating in California.


When the crab is covered by a wave, the antennae are extended out over the sand to collect food. analogs

Its body is approximately egg-shaped. To feed, the crabs burrow backward into the sand and face seaward, with only their eyes and first antennae showing. On the right, the telson is held out to reveal the eggs held on the pleopods. Note how the abdomen with lits arge, pointed telson is folded loosely underneath the body.

Emerita analoga

Between Pacific Tides 5th ed. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. These small animals burrow in the sand in the swash zone and use their antennae for filter feeding.

This page was last edited on 19 Decemberat As the tide changes, Emerita changes its position on the beach; [5] most individuals stay in the zone of breaking waves. It has anallga pairs of legs and three pairs of pleopods. It then retracts the antennae and scrapes the particles into its mouth. In essence, Sand Crab abundance helps scientists to understand ecosystem health at larger scales.

The amount of domoic acid in the crabs’ flesh can indicate the amount of toxin in the water. The female lays batches of up to 45, eggs each month and carries them about beneath her abdomen tucked under her telson.


This female is carrying eggs see photo below. When water is overhead, they also project above the sand ansloga to collect food particles. The anloga longer antennae are retractable. When burrowing, swimming, or crawling, it always moves backwards.

Emdrita species are recognised as of [update]: The abdomen with its elongated telson photo is generally held reflexed underneath the thoraxbut is extended for rapid digging into the sand movie.

Sand Crabs are known as an indicator species that can anlaoga poor environmental health in coastal ecosystems.

Click Here for a movie of annaloga 1. Ecology of Coastal Waters, with Implications analog Management. As each wave retreats, it extends its antennae and catches floating organisms. Males are typically smaller than females, and in some species, such as Emerita rathbunaethe minute males live attached to the legs of the female. The sea otter also consumes them.

Females tend to be found far down the beach, whereas males and immature crabs are found at higher levels.