The paddle crab (Ovalipes catharus) of New Zealand. It lives just under water at sandy beaches and burrows leaving only its eyes visible, sitting in wait for prey (and swimmers’ toes!). Large males can reach 150 mm across the carapace. Photographer: WR Webber © WR Webber

New Zealand has a popular paddle crab (scientific name Ovalipes catharus) found at sandy beaches all round the country and often in fish shops, sometimes alive. I talked about paddle crabs and why they’re important during December’s episode of Science Live, Coastal Creatures.  Paddle crabs or swimming crabs are named for theirRead more

Graham Bird (right) and Rick Webber (Curator of Crustacea at Te Papa) collecting tanaids and other small invertebrates from gravel and algae in tide pools on Mana Island during the 2011 Mana Marine Bioblitz. (© Graham Bird).

Hoards but not seen – the Tanaidacea Knowledge of a significant but seldom heard of group of crustaceans is getting a fresh boost. In its Crustacea section Te Papa has a good collection of New Zealand tanaids (tar-nay-ids) or ‘tanaidaceans’ (tar-nay-iday-see-ans). Tanaids are little marine crustaceans, mostly 2 – 5Read more