Posts Tagged ‘flash’

The Post – The Ever Reclusive Melanie Hamilton, Exposed

February 1, 2008


After several attempts over many days, I can at least prove there IS a Melanie Hamilton. Again the shots are a little dark. Flash won’t work due to the glass sides of the tank, so that leaves long exposure times to get enough light. The only problem with the latter is that unlike fashion models who will hold a pose so their best side shows, crabs won’t hold still. Make the exposure time too long and all you get is a blur. I have a lot of those. So I had to sacrifice some light for clarity.

The first picture shows just how much like Howard Hughes Melanie Hamilton can be. Most of the time she barely peeks out of her live rock crevice. Here all that shows are a couple of legs.

The second shot no doubt annoyed her. With the aid of a long exposure time on the camera and an Ever-Ready 5-volt flashlight shining in her face, we finally get a glimpse of Melanie Hamilton hiding in the ornamental cave in the tank. She looks grumpy.

After escaping the flashlight, Melanie now peeks out from behind the cave, probably to see if the coast is clear.

The last two pictures show her in a rare foray outside of the live rock. She seems to like the ornamental cave, and spends part of her time eating microscopic algae off its sides. They do that with fluid movements of their two front claws, delicately picking off invisible algae with the pincers on the claws.

Soon, the dashing and cute Admiral Byrd.

The Post – Scarlett O’Hara and her molted ghost

January 31, 2008


Well, I’ve been promising pictures of the fiddler family members so let’s start with Scarlett O’Hara and her recent molt.

The first picture shows her just after she molted, climbing down the side of the water filter. I love how they can have their eyestalks going in two directions as they move about. If you look closely, the right eyestalk is vertical, while the left one is scanning in a horizontal direction. Off to the right in the picture, her whitish “ghost” sits, discarded. With the water currents waving the legs and claws back and forth, the discarded shell looked eerily alive.

The second one shows her nestled safely under the water filter and behind her old self (fuzzy part in front), where she rested for some time. It is not unusual for newly molted crabs to hide. Their new shells are soft at this point and they feel vulnerable. So they hide to give themselves protection as their new shell hardens.

The third picture though a bit dark, gives you a close-up view of the ghost version. You can see the empty leg, claw and eyestalk casings. I will add that the “ghost of Scarlett O’Hara” no longer exists. Admiral Byrd ate it. Perhaps he is getting ready to molt. Crabs often eat discarded shells to reclaim the calcium the shells contain.

Last picture shows Scarlett O’Hara when she finally emerged from under the water filter. Still a bit tentative, she sought shelter under an overhang on the Live Rock.

These were all from Saturday, the 26th. Today she was back to her old self, running around the tank and eating. Maybe I can get a lighter picture of her now that she’s out and about. I need to work on “lighting” issues for these, but still, not bad considering no flash and long exposure times.

Soon to come, Admiral Byrd and Melanie Hamilton!!!