Sally Lightfoot Crab
Grapsus grapsus
The Sally Lightfoot Crab (Grapsus grapsus) is a widespread marine crab which is commonly seen on rocks along the shoreline in the Galapagos Islands. The adults are dark reddish in color while the young are dark, almost blackish, which provides good concealment for the young crabs on the dark lava. The first three photos show crabs of various ages and the bottom shot shows and especially bright adult. These images were taken with a Canon EOS 10D and EF 70-200 F/2.8 L IS lens and 2X extender in July, 2003, at Bachas Beach, Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos, Ecuador.
The next 6 images were taken on another visit to the Galapagos in July, 2007. These images were all taken with a Canon EOS 1D Mark III and EF 100-400mm F/4.5-5.6 L IS lens. An adult Sally Lightfoot is shown here while the next two shots show younger and darker individuals.
Crabs must shed or moult their outer shell when they grow. As part of their moulting process, Sally Lightfoots force water under their shell to help the old shell separate from their body. When the water is under the shell, the crab flexes its body to help loosen the older, outer shell. During this process, the water forms bubbles around the crab. The two shots shown here show part of this process.
The next four images of Sally Lightfoot Crabs were taken in the Galapagos Islands in August, 2010, with a Canon EOS 1D Mark IV and a Sigma 50-500mm lens. The individual on the right was on Santa Cruz Island.
This view shows a section of the shoreline of Bachas Beach on Santa Cruz Island in the Galapagos. Note the Sally Lightfoots on the lava rocks.
The Sally Lightfoots on the right are involved in some sort of battle. This shot was taken on Fernandina Island.