Crabs in Paradise
You know I really love being in Yelapa in July (actually I love being in Yelapa just about any time!) but there is something about the end of the high season that is wondrous… it gets very quiet, you can go visit with neighbors, we have gotten some rain so the hills are back in full luxurious verde, but there haven’t been a lot of heavy rains so the ocean is crystal clear and the temperature is PERFECT! There are also some marvelous natural events happening that are amazing but not necessarily for the faint of heart. One of those events is the annual land crab migration into the ocean.
There are two species of land crabs in the area. The red ones are Gecarcinus lateralis and the more prolific dark purple yellowish are Gecarcinus quadratus. The red ones usually grow larger, the purple and yellow ones more numerous. Commonly called Mexican Land Crab, Halloween Crab, Mouthless Crab, or the Harlequin Land Crab these little crustaceans only return to the ocean to reproduce and then spend the rest of their days burrowed in the jungle, as much as 600 meters from shore. They have adapted to life on land so much that they even drown in water and only take to the sea-shore for releasing their larvae. Once the eggs are laid, the adult crabs return to the forest to molt, forage and hibernate.
Well, as you can imagine there are crabs EVERYWHERE! We happen to have a bath tub in Casa Sol and I remember one year pulling 87, yes we counted, bright red crabs out in one evening. This year the family who stayed in Sol sent the Dad in every night to remove the errant, but clean crustaceans. I could hear the shrieks of laughter coming from the bathroom.
The really comical thing about crabs is their less than convincing attempts to look BIG. They stretch their arms? out full length and then run back and forth looking fierce. Maybe the Method of Operation is to get a person to fall over from laughter, but whatever the reason, it is an amazing thing to behold and yet another chapter of The Wonders of Nature in Yelapa.