Sand Fleas Mole Crabs
Sand Fleas and Mole Crabs: What they do and how they live
Sand Fleas and Mole Crabs are two small and important creatures that live in the sand on beaches all over the world. These small crustaceans are vital for the health of beach ecosystems and for providing food for birds.
Sand Fleas, sometimes called sand hoppers or beach hoppers, are small crustaceans that live in beach sand. Their scientific name is Talitridae. They typically grow to a maximum size of 0.7 inches (2cm). They have a segmented body with two pairs of antennae and two pair of legs that are used for jumping.
Sand Fleas feed mainly on algae and other small organisms found in the sand, such as tiny worms, plankton, and other very small organisms. They also help to aerate the sand, and are an important food source for shorebirds.
Mole Crabs, also known as sand bubbles or sand crabs, are small crabs that live in the sand near the beach. Their scientific name is Emerita talpoida. They are typically about an inch in length.
Mole Crabs feed primarily on phytoplankton, diatoms and other small organisms found in the sand, but they will also scavenge for food such as algae and detritus. They also provide food for shorebirds, by digging through the sand and bringing up worms and crustaceans.
Because mole crabs are able to filter small organisms out of the water, they also help to keep the beach water clean and clear.
Sand Fleas and Mole Crabs are two small but important creatures that live on beaches all over the world. They provide food for shorebirds and help to keep beach water clean and clear.
These creatures help maintain the health of beach ecosystems, and are a fascinating part of the natural wildlife that can be observed along the seaside.