I really love crustaceans so whenever I see something new and unusual for sale I immediately want it. When I discovered a Pebble crab available online, Leucosia sp. I'd never seen or indeed heard about these crabs before so I immediately reached for the books and searched Google, there's not much information on their care but I did find a mention in 'The Modern Coral Reef Aquarium' by Fossa & Nilsen. They state that could be excellent aquarium inhabitants with their diet believed to be mainly detritus and other organic particles. The shop confirmed it was reef safe (small and feeble with tiny claws were the exact words). How could I resist? Now there was no way I was going to place an order for just a single teeny tiny crab so I browsed some more and added a commensal crab (I've always wanted one of these) and gorgonian to the basket as well.
The order duly arrived and the Pebble crab is awesome, it looks just like a pebble with legs. The carapace is smooth and shaped like a rhomboid with the head at the end of one of the blunt points. As soon as it was added to the tank it buried itself in the sand till just its eyes poked out.
During the day Pebble (not the most original of names I'll admit) hides in the sand but as soon as the lights are off he's out and about moving slowly over the sand looking for goodness knows what. I have tried feeding him directly with bits of food but I've not seen him accept anything yet so I've no idea what he's eating. I guess it must indeed be detritus. Most days I have absolutely no idea where he's hiding, when he's hunkered down in the sand he's practically impossible to spot, he blends in so beautifully.
Here's a couple of full body views taken with flash at night.
Unfortunately just as I planned to post this update yesterday morning I discovered the crab resting on top of the sand at the back of the tank. He was still moving a little but stayed in the same location for the rest of the day and did not bury himself. This was most unusual. Sadly after lights out I discovered three Nassarius snails enjoying a meal of him. Nooooo! Could he not find enough food or was there something more sinister going on, cobalt related perhaps? I'd only had him for a little over 7 weeks, such a shame.
I'll discuss the commensal crab and gorgonian from the same order in the next update.
Hi, my name is Lisa and I live in Derby, UK. I am a self-confessed reefaholic!