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Ecological Exploration

Sand bubbler crab

Crustacea | Dotillidae
Scopimera bitympana


The sand bubbler crab is very small, with a carapace width of approximately 1 cm. Its body color is gray-brown, which blends in with the sand easily. This species has the largest crab population on sandy beaches. The inner and outer side of its pereopods both have an oval-shaped tympanum which improves respiration. When the sand bubbler crab forages, it uses its chelae to put sand into its mouth. After the crab filters organic material, sand particles are then deposited from the upper part of the mouthpart, forming little sand balls called “pseudofaeces”. The sand bubbler crab often forages in a radial pattern, creating a similar radial pattern of pseudofaeces scattered outside the burrows.


The sand bubbler crab can be seen on sandy beaches at Gaomei wetlands. They are found where there are many small burrows with pseudofaeces scattered outside in a radial pattern.


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