Ghost Crabbing is a popular night time activity that involves the careful catch and release of Ocypode quadrata or the Atlantic Ghost Crab. When you join us for an "evening of catching," you'll be supplied with more than the nets, flashlights and buckets necessary to scoop up these quick moving crustaceans. Our Quests provide knowledgeable Scouts that will help you find, catch and appreciate the Ghost Crab.
What the Heck is Ghost Crabbing?
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: What do I need to Bring?
A: Footwear is recommended but not required.
Cameras or smartphones with cameras are fun, but remember, we are on the beach near the water's edge. Be CAREFUL. Water bottles are a good idea because catching crabs can build a sweat. Bring a towel. Although swimming is not allowed, it helps to have one to brush off sand.
Q: Is there a charge to watch the action?
A: There is NO TAG-ALONG fee to watch the action. However, experience has shown adults enjoy the activity, sometimes more than the kids.
Q: Don't Ghost Crabs pinch!?
A: Ghost Crabs defend themselves with their strong claws. However, our Scouts teach you how to use the equipment provided to safely (for you and the crab) catch these fast and powerful creatures.
Q: Are we going to eat the Ghost Crabs?
A: NO. Try and have dinner or a bite to eat before hand. Ghost Crabs are not typically eaten anywhere.
Q: Are we going to get wet?
A: While swimming is NOT allowed, you may get your feet wet chasing a fleeting crab. Bring a towel.
Q: Can I tip my Guide?
A: Tips are an excellent way for you to let a Guide know they did a good job, and they certainly appreciate the little bit of extra "dough." Tip away!
Atlantic Ghost Crab Facts
The Atlantic Ghost Crab's Latin name Ocypode quadrata literally means "swift-footed square;" accurately describing the crab's shape and ability to scurry quickly over the beach sands.
Adult Ghost Crabs are found on beaches from Block Island, Rhode Island all the way south to Santa Catarina, Brazil.
Ghost Crabs have an average lifespan of 3 years.
Ghost Crabs spend most of their time in burrows dug into the sand. Burrows can be 4 feet deep and as much as 950 feet from the water's high tide line.
From October to April, Ghost Crabs hibernate in their burrows.
Ghost Crabs communicate by rubbing their legs together to create a "bubbling sound," and by banging their large claws on the sand.
Male Ghost Crabs tend to avoid physical confrontation during mating season.
Racoons, Burrowing Owls and many species of Gull eat Ghost Crabs.
Prey for Ghost Crabs include a variety of items including; Mole Crabs, Coquina Clams, the eggs and hatchlings of Loggerhead Sea Turtles and almost any piece of decaying flesh found on the beach.