Ghost Crabbing

What is a ghost crab? A ghost crab is a sand coloured crab that comes out at night. The Atlantic ghost crab lives on beaches that are not crowded along most of the Atlantic coast. A fun activity while visiting Assateague Island is Ghost crabbing.

I followed this group on Assateague Island at the State Park. The beaches at the state park for campers are great places to find the Ghost Crab as they are not crowded during the day. If you are in Assateague head to the beach at night and see if you can catch these quick crustaceans.

When to Find Them

Since ghost crabs burrow in the sand during the day and emerge at night, the best time to try to catch them is after it gets dark. They say the younger ones burrow closer to the ocean while the older ones burrow farther away.

What To Bring

Bring a net as these crabs can scurry quickly. Also bring a flashlight, but a headlamp as this girl is wearing makes it easier to catch them because you then have two hands free.

How to Catch Them

When you shine a flashlight on the ghost crab if freezes momentarily. Then it scurries away. The best time to try to catch them is when they freeze.

Catch and Release

When you are finished, release the crabs. I understand people do not eat these. No ghost crabs were harmed in this activity.

The next morning I saw many remains of ghost crabs next to the water. There are birds that like to catch them and eat them when the sun starts to rise.

Get out and enjoy nature! Expand your knowledge and have fun while you do.

3 thoughts on “Ghost Crabbing”

  1. This strikes me as the most important:

    When you are finished, release the crabs. I understand people do not eat these. No ghost crabs were harmed in this activity.

    So often our forays into “nature” are actually wild-life bothering writ large.

    Like

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