Naughty Potomanautes


Yesterday morning I hadn’t yet put on my glasses when I surfaced from the bedroom and went into the lounge.  I glanced across at the fish tanks, as I normally do, and noticed something strange. There appeared to be a mythical, multi-legged beast with two heads writhing around on the floor of the tank.

IMG_3428

Skylla?

Glasses on, I peered closer. It seems there was a wedding last night. 1-IMG_3404 I made myself a cup of coffee, pulled up a chair and settled in to watch the show. (I know this might seem like a weird thing to do, but it’s not every day you see a pair of river crabs mating in your living room.) Three hours and a couple more cups of coffee later things had not progressed much, so I turned to Google to find out what I would be missing if I left them alone to carry on their, um, business … What I learned was that crabs usually mate soon after moulting, while their outer shells are still relatively soft and supple. Also that females of many African river crabs species (Potomanautes sp.) ‘give birth’ to live, perfectly formed baby crabs – unlike sea crabs which lay eggs that hatch into a larval stage before metamorphosing into little crabs. Another thing I learned is that the crab mating act can sometimes take many days to finish (!), so I gave up being a voyeur and went to work. In the evening when I got home they were still at it and only finally parted at around 8pm. I leave you with a short video I took. This is pretty much as exciting as it got and I think you will understand why I didn’t stick around to watch more.

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16 thoughts on “Naughty Potomanautes

  1. El – you make my heart sing! I’ve been meaning to reach out – touch base – say hello – all the stuff you’re suppose to do and then ran out of day light! I look forward to your posts and pictures very, very much. Today’s story of the crabs had me rolling – I immediately shared it with my niece who is writing a story about a hermit crab. Although different, they are indeed cousins, what wonderful conversations would they have?! Be well! Know you are thought about often and good thoughts are always being sent your way – even if I do run out of daylight way too often. XO

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:

    A delightful new blog for me this week based in Central Africa, author El Rolyat posts about a variety of subjects and this caught my attention.. River crabs mating in a fish tank in the living room… very, very slowly… fascinating and not something you see everyday.. very tastefully described and photographed… suitable for all ages!!

    Like

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