EarthSky Community Photos

Submit your photo here. Comment or upvote on photo pages. Search via photographers' names. More improvements coming! To help, please donate.

Steve Price
Holden Beach, NC USA
11:16 am

Equipment Details:

Google Pixel 5 phone

Post-processing Details:


Image Details:

Just got home from a family reunion beach vacation, 25th year running. It was very busy with 45 family members renting a houses up and down the beach strip with lots of visiting each not much free time for exploring the marshes and coastal forests. I did get to see a few of these crabs early in the morning and at night. They gain their common name as a Ghost Crab for their color blending with the beach sand, the high speed running, up to 10 mph, and when they can't find a burrow or other avenue of escape, they will stop suddenly, drop flat on the sand and with their hind sets of legs scoop and toss enough sand over their entire bodies and remain motionless. They are running one second then disappear under a blanket of sand. Lucky for me this large (about 9 inches from leg to leg tip) male specimen was being chill enough to allow a few photos.

Wiki says: The Atlantic ghost crab, Ocypode quadrata, is a species of ghost crab. It is a common species along the Atlantic coast of the United States, where it is the only species of ghost crab; its range of distribution extends from its northernmost reach on beaches in Westport, Massachusetts, south along the coasts of the tropical Western Atlantic Ocean to the beach of Barra do Chui, in Rio Grande do Sul in southern Brazil. Ghost crabs are arguably the fastest terrestrial invertebrates, capable of running at more than a meter per second.