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Thousands of spider crabs gather yet again


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#1 Mary Malloy

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 12:50 AM

I just want to share with everyone a "Blue Planet" experience in my own backyard. Several times a year, tens of thousands of spider crabs, Leptomithrax gaimardii gather at various locations around Port Phillip Bay. It is believed as a precursor to pairing off and mating but no-one knows for sure. This is not a seasonal event, it can happen anytime. So it is hard to tell divers prepared to travel when to come.

Mary

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#2 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 01:45 AM

Wowzers. Fantastic.

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#3 Mary Malloy

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 01:56 AM

Wowzers. Fantastic.

Alex


Hi Alex,

I think you have dived this site, Rye pier, with my friend Jimswims.

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#4 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 02:05 AM

Hi Mary,

Driven past, not dived. We really didn't have enough time in Victoria last time.

We have similar gatherings in the UK, but they don't tend to pile up as much. They are rarely more than 1 crab deep, so not as spectacular:
http://www.2020v.org...d=28&m=4&y=2012

Alex

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#5 JimSwims

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 04:38 AM

Great shots Mary from very challenging conditions, the vis was really poor that day. Went back the next day and the numbers seemed
to have doubled. An amazing phenomenon to witness and I was so happy to have finally caught the peak of the action.

Alex I think the closest you got to Rye Pier was having greasy Fish and Chips by the main road opposite.

Cheers,
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#6 Steve Douglas

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 08:30 AM

All I can say is 'WOW"
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#7 AMW

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 03:17 PM

Thanks for sharing....unbelievable!!!!!
Glad you had a wide-angle on the last image!

#8 Drew

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 03:32 AM

I remember the spider crab aggregation happens from April to July, ostensibly when the water cools off from the summer highs. And there's evidence they moult as well. I can't remember who told me that but it was some biologist. That's an awesome sight and so happy you caught it.

Hmmm too bad the giant cuttlefish aggregation in Whyalla is now bad, otherwise it might be worth the trip to attempt both in the winter months of Oz.

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#9 Mary Malloy

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 04:59 AM

I remember the spider crab aggregation happens from April to July, ostensibly when the water cools off from the summer highs. And there's evidence they moult as well. I can't remember who told me that but it was some biologist. That's an awesome sight and so happy you caught it.

Hmmm too bad the giant cuttlefish aggregation in Whyalla is now bad, otherwise it might be worth the trip to attempt both in the winter months of Oz.


Hi Drew,

Yes for the most part people have reported them at Rye pier around May. I have 2 years of images at Rye in May but I have also seen them in these numbers at other Victorian locations in February and September.

Also glad I got the cuttles before they went off.

Cheers
Mary

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#10 Cary Dean

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 05:48 AM

Love the FE shot of the crabs.
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