The sandy banks of COffs Creek come alive on low tide with swarms of soldier crabs
The sandy banks of COffs Creek come alive on low tide with swarms of soldier crabs Bruce Thomas

Soldier crabs on the march

IT might not be the peak season for human tourists but the sandy shores of Coffs Creek were yesterday swarming with thousands of cute crustaceans.

Local nature photographer John Boom came across a veritable army of soldier crabs while on a walk yesterday and couldn’t resist capturing the moment.

“There were literally thousands of them. It was like the shores of Coffs Creek had come alive,” Mr Boom said.

“I last saw as many at Urunga a few years ago. It really is quite delightful to see them scurrying about.

Found from northern Queensland through to Wilsons Promontory in Victoria as well as the western Indian Ocean and French Polynesia, the solider crab sorts through sand and mud for organic matter as it grows to a mature size of 15mm.

It is thought that the spontaneous arrival of soldier crabs is triggered by the falling tide.

If disturbed they burrow into the sand with a corkscrew motion, disappearing as quickly as they emerged.



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