The Post – Fiddler Update

I’ve been pretty quiet on the fiddler crab front. For the most part, it’s been very quiet. My fiddlers have been healthy, happy, going through several molts over the last few months. I could always tell when molting was imminent because the fiddler or fiddlers would disappear for several days to weeks – Admiral Byrd to his cave, the females hiding out inside the live rock. Then there would come a morning where the empty ghost shell of whomever, would be sitting there out in the open. Very shortly after that, the ghost shell would be ravaged and eaten up by the crabs, as they reabsorb the calcium from it to help them make new shells.

There have been no more pregnancies, and I suspect the crabs are getting far along in “years” – they’re almost a year old…kind of old for fiddler crabs. In fact, yesterday morning, I found one of the females, dead. I do not know if it’s Scarlett O’Hara or Melanie Hamilton. Given the recent moltings, both females finally were about the same size, so I could no longer tell them apart.  I am sad, but at the same time, I appreciate having had her for as long as I have, and I appreciate the joy she had given to me. She had a happy life, and I wish her peace.

So now, there remains Admiral Byrd and one female.

Also on the fiddler front, one of my readers, Kelly, had had some experiences with her fiddlers. I have included our email exchange, along with the photos of she sent of her setup. So for your reading pleasure, info, thanks to Kelly:

My female crab released her eggs about 3 weeks ago. there have been tiny little bug like things swimming in the tank since then. I have a 6x magnifier and when looking through it these things do not look like any of the pictures of crab larvae posted on the web., How do I know if these moving specs are my baby crabs or small bugs in my tank? They crawl on the rocks and float/swim around they are whitish gray and round. They do not seam to have a tail as pictured on the web. Please help this is the only blog (re: scarlet o hara) that may give me some insight. Thanks, Kelly

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My blog response to Kelly:

It sounds like those could be babies. I used a 10x magnification to see the babies and even then it was just barely able to see the tails. But then mine only survived a few days.

I have to ask….it’s been three weeks?  If so, and those ARE babies, then you’ve had the best success of all of us. By three weeks they would be big enough to move around rocks and swim in the water as opposed to just drifting in the currents. What is your tank water like in terms of salinity – fresh? brackish? marine?  Are you running a water filter or just an air bubbler or air wand?  Can you describe your tank setup?  Do you have any other critters in the tank or just fiddler crabs?  Please see the links above in this post for all the blog entries I have on this subject and I would love to hear how your tank is set up compared to what I and others have been trying. Looking forward to your info!! Thanks, Deb
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Kelly’s additional info:
Thanks for responding.
Iam not sure how to respond on the blog you can post this e-mail if you like.
I will explain my set up, but Iam really sceptical that what is in my tank really is the baby crabs. As soon as we noticed our female crab was showing eggs we put her into a nano tank half filled with water and lots of rocks to crawl in and out of. We used brita filtered tap water and I put aquarium salt in the tank twice since filling it. We shut off the filter so that the babies would not get stuck in it. We have an air stone in the tank and have not changed the water since we set this tank up. I actually saw my fiddler crab give birth to her babies (release her eggs).I saw the larvae swimming around after that. However, what is in my tank now does not match the photos of crab larvae stages I have seen on the web. And since I do not changes the water Iam assuming this would allow for bugs to grow? I for sure have small white worms in this tank also. I feed the mother crab frozen brine shrimp & ‘crab bites’ from the pet store. I crush flake food every other day into the tank for the babies if that is what they are. I attatched apicture of my tank ank of my crab when she was pregnant. Thanks, Kelly
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