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hypostatic

Mole crabs as sand cleaners? (Emerita talpoida)

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I used to catch those on the beach but they were cold water, always wanted one though. Maybe there is a warm water variety, could be hard to feed kinda like a sand sifting star.

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patback   

I always thought they were called sand fleas. There are tons on the beaches in new York, all cold water obviously.

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10g Reef   

That is very interesting. They can be called sand fleas, mole crabs, or sand crabs. I think they are very adaptable, as they are all over the beaches of the Outer Banks in North Carolina in the summer when the water reaches high 60s sometimes even up to the mid-high 70s. I have never seen them offered for a reef before though. I was sunder the impression that they were sort of like fiddler crabs though, and needed air to survive, as they bury in the sand where the water comes in then recedes, so they are only underwater 50% of the time. Also they can get to like 2+ inches, so I am sure they would need quite a bit of food to survive, plus a sandbed of at least 3.5-4 inches. Definitely not an option for a nano IMO.

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I saw those in the Carolinas, and the water there was pretty warm. I think you might be able to keep them in a tank temperature wise, I don't know about feeding however.

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The ones I've seen are actually filter feeders, not really sifting sand. You can see an example here:

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bizzarro   

I'm think they are collected in FL since that's where the vendor is located. Perhaps they can survive the higher temps.

 

They are noted in the description they are filter feeding and burrow in the sand, guessing burrowing makes them sand sifting.

Edited by bizzarro

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shinynic   

Not to bring back an old thread, but

 

The ones I've seen are actually filter feeders, not really sifting sand. You can see an example here:

they do filter feed, but they don't stay in one spot for too long - at least not in my tank! I have at least 2, and they like to swim around then dive into the sand. They seem to burrow through the sand a bit, too, which I witnessed one of mine doing a bit earlier. Where I live (near the Gulf of Mexico, a couple of hours south of where Reefs2Go is located), the water ranges from the mid to upper 70s to the upper 80s depending on the time of year.

 

here's a gif of mine feeding just a bit ago:

molecrabfeeding_zpsf853ebb2.gif

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ndrobey   

The ones I've caught on Los Angeles beaches catch plankton on their antenna thingys and then scrape it off into their mouths. I would call that filter feeding. From what I've seen, East Coast relatives seem to do the same thing.

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shinynic   

The ones I've caught on Los Angeles beaches catch plankton on their antenna thingys and then scrape it off into their mouths. I would call that filter feeding. From what I've seen, East Coast relatives seem to do the same thing.

I live near the Gulf, and that's where I got mine from...yes, they do the same.

 

They filter, that's how they (emerita) feed - as you said by waving around their antenna and scraping it with their mouth. I wasn't saying they didn't lol - I was posting a gif that I made from pics I took of mine doing it. I was also stating, from what I witnessed in response to the original post, that they do also tunnel and burrow. I don't think they necessarily eat anything in the sand, I just think that it counts for something that they do burrow/tunnel.

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ndrobey   

I wasn't disagreeing with you, just making an observation. The ones here in Los Angeles burrow into the sand and just have their antenna sticking up out of the sand. I don't think they eat anything in the sand, but use it to hide from the sandpipers, who are always looking to eat them.

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shinynic   

I wasn't disagreeing with you, just making an observation. The ones here in Los Angeles burrow into the sand and just have their antenna sticking up out of the sand. I don't think they eat anything in the sand, but use it to hide from the sandpipers, who are always looking to eat them.

my goodness, I saw a sand piper get a really big one like 5 feet from me. It was kind of funny :P

 

I never see the antennas here, I think they blend in too much with the sand xD I had a hard time seeing mine right near the front of my tank!

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otest82   

Totally filter feeders that live in the surf zone. I would imagine they would need some kind of supplemental feeding. I catch them for fish bait here in southern NC. I have one tattooed on my arm. I have always been curious on how well they would survive in an aquarium

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shinynic   

I didn't even mean to bring them home. I brought a bucket of sand home that I sifted and tossed into my aquarium, and they were in it. I feed my gorg cyclop-eeze, and that's when I saw its feathery antenna sticking out of the sand.



Totally filter feeders that live in the surf zone. I would imagine they would need some kind of supplemental feeding. I catch them for fish bait here in southern NC. I have one tattooed on my arm. I have always been curious on how well they would survive in an aquarium

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