Sand Bubbler Crabs is small crustaceans of the genus Scopimera from the family Diogenidae. They are primarily solitary crabs which live on rocky coasts in the temperate Indo-Pacific Ocean. They feed by sorting sand through their beak, leaving behind disintegrated chunks of sand as food.
Their scientific name, therefore, is Diotella corona, a combination of two Greek words, which translate to “dog-teeth.” These animals are the most common crustacean found on rocky coasts. Dotted with white dots, they are also called “sand bubblers” or “dotshells.” The largest known specimen was weighed together on a laboratory scale at 4.1 grams.
This tiny crustacean has a very tiny mouth, which measures only about two-thirds of an inch in length. Its upper jaw has a row of hooked teeth, and it uses its two little mouthpart claws to pull sand particles off of its food. Its powerful sucking power helps to conserve sand between its teeth. This leads to the occurrence of white spots on the undersides of its legs.
Sand bubblers are found in a variety of locations. It can also be found on driftwood, sand and rocks along coastal areas. In fact, the best time to find this crustacean is during the tidal period, which is from mid-summer to late autumn. A well-placed camera lens on a snorkel would help you capture its fascinating photo.
However, sand bubbler crab breeding occurs during low tide. If you see these crabs during their mating season, you can take advantage of this and obtain them as a pet. Just make sure that you have your camera with you. You don’t want to miss out on your chance to get close up photos of these adorable crabs.
For people living near the equator, the most ideal place for sand bubbler crab breeding would be Indo-Pacific islands such as Hawaii, Polynesia and Easter Island. These islands are known for having numerous soft-shelled animals like starfish, hermit crabs and octopus. It is also the perfect location for finding the rare and delicate Scopimera mertensii. While you’re there, you can also visit nearby coral reefs and marine shelters to witness for yourself the various species of tropical fish that dwell in these waters.
There are certain things you need to observe in order to get the most out of your vacation to observe the sand bubbler crab. The first thing that you need to do is determine where the best spots to spot these crabs in your area are. A great place to do this is to look up at the islands around the Pacific Ocean. Note down the locations of islands where the most successful breeding occurs. Once you have these locations pinpointed, then you can set a schedule and visit these spots regularly.
Another tip is to observe how the tide moves and affect the availability of sand bubbler crabs in a particular month. If the sea water is saltier in a certain month, the sand crab population will naturally decrease. Observing the behavior of the crabs during certain months will tell you when and where they should be found. This will give you an advantage when planning your next beach vacation.
Many beaches, especially those located near the ocean, experience high tide at specific times of the year. In high tides, the nutrient-rich sand tends to wash away when high water comes in contact with the surface. The tiny crabs then seek refuge under the low tide mark. It’s during this time that you’ll find the highest concentration of sand bubbler crab populations.
You can also attract the tiny crabs using certain baits. This includes eating live or raw crabs, along with dried shrimp, cockles, or flakes of corn. You can also use shrimp shells, which can be mixed with small pieces of cheese or bread to make a smelly bait. Most often, however, you’ll find that the best way to attract the little crustaceans is to place sand in a shallow plastic container that you can then drop the crabs in.
Once they land on the sand, the crabs will immediately burrow their little heads into the sand. The resulting scent of roosting caves and other den areas gives them away. The best time to look for the dung balls, (also called dotillas, ) is in the late morning and early afternoon when low tide is high. You’ll find quite a number of these dotillas along washouts, near pilings, along coastal walls, and in other areas which experience low tides.