Crustaceans

Dancing with Sheep Crabs

One of our more comical California underwater creatures is the Sheep Crab. It is closely related to the spider crabs you see in the marketplace or in restaurants but its shell is so thick that the sheep crab is not commercially desirable. Sheep crabs are frequently seen by divers and often very large specimens are observed—as much as 30 inches across! While they are big and powerful, they are very slow. They do not hide well and do not scurry off quickly. As a result, […]

The Secret Lives of Lobster

The key to the successful hunt of an animal is a solid understanding of the habits, quirks and behavior of your particular quarry. With lobster season starting soon, the focus for underwater seafood hunters will shift to these crustaceans that avid stalkers call “bugs.” Here are some facts (and some observations that may not be “facts,” per se) to help you in the upcoming lobster season, or at least better appreciate this odd quarry. LOBSTERS BITE Their jaws are powerful and, particularly with larger specimens, […]

The Lifecycle of Spiny Lobsters

For many sea creatures parenting is easy; they have little or no contact with their offspring. Take for example, the California spiny lobster (Panulirus interruptus). Found off the West Coast from Monterey Bay, CA, to Magdalena Bay, Mexico, this is the succulent crustacean that causes a diving frenzy known as Lobster Season. Ever wonder why the season is closed between the middle of March and the end of September? Read on and I’ll enlighten you! To ensure his species’ survival, the male spiny has only […]

Lobster Fever: A Cautionary Tale

It’s 3 a.m. in mid-September 197xx and I’m roaring down the 405 Freeway with a crazy person driving. All the windows are down and the 70 mph wind is shrieking through the 10-year old Ford. Suddenly the maniac lifts both hands from the wheel and yells, “Let it go!” The thought strikes me: I’m in trouble… Snugging my seatbelt another notch tighter, I reach under my thigh where a stack of five of the driver’s wrinkled $10 bills are wedged. Per instructions, I pull one […]

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