VIDEO: Just Nipping Out: Diver’s Encounter With Amazing Arrow Crab

Arrow Crab playing with diver at Blue Heron Bridge in West Palm Beach Florida. (@marine.biology.daily, Zachariah Miller/Zenger)



By Pol Fernandez

A sport diver shot video of his encounter with a beautiful Arrow Crab that appeared to delicately dance on his outstretched hand and arm underwater.


Zachariah Miller, 23, recorded his video while diving at Blue Heron Bridge, which is part of Phil Foster Park in sunny West Palm Beach, Florida.

Also known by its scientific name (Stenorhynchus seticomis), the spider-like crab has colorful stripes and a long spiky snout.

Diver Miller, who has expertise in marine ecology, said of his visit with the inquisitive crustacean: “Arrow Crabs are some of my favorite critters at Blue Heron Bridge.”

He added: “Each one has different color patterns and personality. Their miraculous ability to decorate their head spike (rostrum) with other marine life means that you see something new every time you float by one!”

He recorded the video earlier this month on Florida’s eastern shore north of Miami.

Miller researches the restoration of 469,000 acres of mangrove forests along Florida’s coastline, which are essential as nursery areas for fish, crustaceans, and shellfish.

Mangrove forests provide food for numerous marine species such as oysters, shrimp, tarpon, red snapper, and jack fish, and recreational and commercial fishing would decline drastically without healthy mangroves.

Arrow Crab playing with diver at Blue Heron Bridge in West Palm Beach Florida. (@marine.biology.daily, Zachariah Miller/Zenger)

 

Blue Heron Bridge is a mecca for divers, having been chosen by Sport Diver magazine in 2013 as the best dive site in the world for its diversity of marine life and easy accessibility.

In addition to Arrow crabs, divers can see pipefish, seahorses, eagle rays, flying gurnards, stargazers, octopi, as well as more than 100 species of swimming slug-like mollusks known as nudibranch.

Because Blue Heron Bridge is located in the protected Lake Worth Lagoon, the water is calm despite rough weather in the open ocean.

Divers can access it from shore and find that the deepest depth at the bridge is no more than about 20 feet.

Snorkeling along the surface is also an attraction at Phil Foster Park and Blue Heron Bridge.

Visitors who don’t have scuba certification can also enjoy the marine part by swimming on the artificial reef and trail composed of more than 600 tons of Anastasia rock boulders at depths ranging from six to ten feet.

Arrow Crab playing with diver at Blue Heron Bridge in West Palm Beach Florida. (@marine.biology.daily, Zachariah Miller/Zenger)

 

Since its inception in 2012, the Artificial Reef and Snorkel Trail at Phil Foster Park has attracted marine life and where young fish can be seen flitting in and out.

While diving at Blue Heron Bridge isn’t difficult, divers should consider the tidal flow which can be strong at any time other than slack tide around the bridges.

During a low slack tide, cloudy water from a nearby inlet reduces visibility; nearby dive shops suggest that half an hour before High Slack Tide is the best time to enjoy diving at the Blue Heron Bridge when clear water flows in from the Atlantic Ocean.

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