Blueberry hermit crabs are commonly found on local beaches in Okinawa. Most crabs are blue but occasionally have color variations of purple, pink, orange and or gray. They prefer to have a seashell as a protective home but when no shell is available they adapt.
Before plastic caps filled our shorelines, hermit crabs adapted using tree nuts if no shells were available.
It’s becoming more common to find crabs with beach trash homes. I have friends combing local beaches in search of more crabs for my series. While these are cute images, our trash is becoming a serious problem to the ocean and the animals that call the shoreline home. I often find hermit crabs using a variety of plastic caps from twist top pet bottles, laundry detergent containers, small propane tanks, sports water bottles and beauty supplies.
- Limited number of available shells causing them to make due with the best homes they can find. This is a good example of adaptive behavior.
Hermit crabs are very social animals and often fight over shells. Having a protective lightweight shell that covers the abdomen (soft parts of the animal) is crucial for survival.
A close-up of the sensitive abdomen (photographed using the MYN technique)
Below are some of my favorite images photographed on a portable field studio board (MYN Technique). The crabs are safely placed on a white studio board, photographed and released back into the natural environment (MYN Technique).
It’s important to photograph the hermit crabs in their natural habitat. I prefer to photograph them using a wide angle lens to achieve a unique perspective.
I also photograph the hermit crabs using a dedicated macro lens. I mainly use the Canon 60 mm or 100 mm macro lens to concentrate on the subject. These crabs are fairly small and it’s important to have a lens that will focus close and deliver high quality sharpness.
School project ” Crabs with beach trash homes ” My family and I collected trash on a local beach in Onna village. This is just a small portion of our beach trash findings. The kids did a great job creating a project with impact.
Behind the scenes photograph ” Crabs with beach trash homes ” I have documented over sixty crabs with beach trash homes. If you would like to see more images check out my Flickr account.
June 10th 2010 was my first experience seeing a hermit crab with a trash home.
My series ” Crabs with beach trash homes ” has been featured on Petapixel, Business Insider, National Geographic (Belgium), Atlas Obscura, Global citizen, Plethorist, Daily telegraph, Littlethings, 15minutenews, Roaring earth, Hyperdojo, News.com.au, Follownews, Neotorama, Boingboing, Insider, Additivist, Now100fm and varies Scientific websites.
Our trash is becoming a serous problem on our shorelines! Let’s keep our shorelines clean!
Have a great day!