Crabs on the march to see the Dain­tree

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

CATCH­ING a glimpse of elu­sive solider crabs as they ad­vance en-masse along the Dain­tree coast­line is no mean feat.

But re­cent vis­i­tors to South Cowie, Cape Tribulation and Myall Beaches have been lucky enough to wit­ness one of the nat­u­ral won­ders of the lo­cal area.

Tour guide Lawrence Ma­son said the crea­tures sweep across cer­tain beaches in their thou­sands at par­tic­u­lar times of the year when the tidal con­di­tions are at their low­est point.

But the no­to­ri­ously cau­tious crea­tures can dis­ap­pear as quickly as they ar­rive with tell­tale tiny balls of sand the only ev­i­dence of their fleet­ing pres­ence. And who could blame them?

The ar­rival of sol­dier crabs usu­ally sparks a feed­ing frenzy of preda­tors in­clud­ing shore­birds, ghost crabs and even wild pigs.

“It’s like look­ing down on an aerial shot of big line of sol­diers march­ing across the beach,” Mr Ma­son said.

“They are of­ten only there for an hour or so when the tide goes out to sev­eral hun­dred me­tres. When you dis­turb them, they all go down into the sand like corkscrews.

“On a tour, I’ll gather ev­ery­one to­gether and run up re­ally quickly be­fore they bur­row away.

“Peo­ple are re­ally fas­ci­nated with them, par­tic­u­larly in­ter­na­tional vis­i­tors who have never seen any­thing like it be­fore.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.