Updated: Oct 4, 2022
On the coasts of Lanzarote, especially near the natural swimming pools 'Los Charcones', one regularly encounters the more than palm-sized 'red rock crab' (Grapsus adscensionis).
EAST ATLANTIC RED ROCK CRAB ON LANZAROTE
This imposing crab species is native and common to Lanzarote.
It is also found on the west coast of America. It is also known as the red rock crab or the Sally lightfoot crab.
It is also found along the Pacific coast of Mexico, Central America and South America (as far south as northern Peru), and on nearby islands, including the Galápagos Islands.
It is a typically shaped crab with five pairs of legs, the front two of which bear small, blocky, symmetrical chelae (claws). The other legs are broad and flat, and only the tips touch the substrate. The crab's round, flat carapace is slightly longer than 8 centimetres (3.1 inches).
Young crabs are black or dark brown in colour and well camouflaged on the black lava shores of the volcanic islands. Adults are quite variable in colour; some are muted brown-red, others mottled or speckled brown, pink or yellow.
Text & Photo: Sabine La fotógrafa Pelirroja