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DSC_1309

photo credit Emily Hein

DSC_1308

photo credit Emily Hein

I fell in love with these small bright red crabs on our first day in the Galapagos Islands. Adult Sally Lightfoot crabs (Grapsus grapsus) tend to be 3 to 5 inches long and can have bright yellow or pink spots on their orange-red shells. They don’t seem real against the dark gray volcanic rocks as they scramble up and down. If the Galapagos Islands were so remote, I would have thought they were a child’s discarded plastic toy.  I couldn’t get over how they can withstand the crashing waves.

The most unique thing about the Sally Lightfoot crabs is their symbiotic relationship with the marine iguanas found throughout the Galapagos. The little crabs eat the dead skin and algae off the marine iguanas’ backs and tails. The marine iguanas tend to be relatively slow moving as they bask in the sun, so it was fascinating to see the little red Sally Lightfoots skittering over their backs. One of my fondest memories of our trip to the Galapagos was pretending the brightly colored crabs were hairdressers fussing over their lumbering customers with one of the little kids in our tour group. We sat on the rocks and made up stories about what they were saying to each other and talking in funny voices.

While I was checking my facts for today’s post, I found this nice video of Sally Lightfoot crabs. Enjoy.


Would you like to be part of Midge & Snig’s adventure in the Galapagos? Want to have your name (or any name you choose) in my next book? From now until the end of April, everyone who follows my blog, signs up for my newsletter, or leaves a comment, will be entered in a drawing for the chance to name the cruise ship featured in the book.

This post in part of the AtoZ Challenge. Please click on the sunflower AtoZ icon in the sidebar to go to the official list of participating blogs. This year my theme is the Galapagos Islands. I am in the process of writing the first of my Midge & Snig mystery series set in the islands. In my research, I have come across a plethora of interesting facts and images. The vast majority of my research won’t get included in the book, but it’s fun to share what I’ve learned with you all.

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