What I expected moving to texas: oh hm, cowboy boot... steak..,? the ole' prairie. youve been invited to,come lasso a tumbleweed,! 'howdy there sherriff' as a tramp stamp tattoo. Sweet teA hp potion... country girls make do
What I got when I moved to texas: i cant really leave the house bc theres about 20-30 of these big blue crabs that came up from their underground tunnels bc of the wet and rainy weather all standing on the patio having a fucking clawnference meeting
This specimen is relatively small. P. diogenes is the world’s second-largest hermit crab species, growing large enough to inhabit a full sized queen conch shell and beaten only by the terrestrial coconut crab, which is a hermit crab that stops using shells when it matures.
I can only assume that the the “diogenes” in its name comes from some parallel drawn between the hermit crab’s shell and the philosopher’s habit of sleeping in a large jar.
The other day, I noticed a small translucent crustacean swimming frantically around a small rock pool, apparently trapped after being washed there at high tide. At first I thought it was a shrimp, but it’s something weirder.
It’s a hyperiid amphipod- a member of a group related to sandhoppers and scuds, but all members are fully pelagic and marine.
Many hyperiids have giant, translucent eyes with a sort of multifaceted retina inside. This guys’ dome- shaped head with a darker patch visible within is all eye.
Most species feed on salps or jellyfish- you might recognize the deep- sea genus Phronima from an episode of bbc’s Blue Planet.
(not my photo)
A more obscure but very large and bizarre- looking deep sea hyperiid, Cystisoma, takes both translucency and giant eyes to the extreme. The red spot is the aforementioned retina, which shows you just how much of this thing’s head is devoted to the eyes.
(also not my photo)
The one I found (1st pic) appears to be a member of the genus Themisto, which are both very abundant in temperate waters and somewhat unusual among huperiids in that they prey on smaller crustaceans such as copepods rather than gelatinous animals. You can’t see it very clearly in my picture, but their longer pairs of legs are mantis- like raptorial limbs, lined with spikes suited for snatching copepods out of the water.