Hyper Rare Blue Shore Crab Walks
into Sea Life Sanctuary

Britain´s rarest crab has literally walked into a Scottish Sea Life centre and offered itself up for public display!

It is a "one-in-a-million" blue shore crab...a species that is generally green or reddish brown. It´s common name in North America is the green shore crab.

Aquarist Anna Price at the Scottish Sea Life Sanctuary in Oban was not unduly surprised to find a shore crab shuffling about beneath one of the display tanks.
Hyper Rare Blue Shore Crab Walks into Sea Life Sanctuary
"We are right by the edge of Loch Creran and we get shore crabs visiting maybe two or three times every year," she said. "They are probably drawn by the smell of the fish."

Anna was astonished, however, when she picked up the latest gate crasher and saw that instead of the usual brown or green colour, it was a lovely shade of blue.

"There´s a fair bit of natural variation in the colour of shore crabs but they are generally brown or green," said Anna. "Nobody here has ever heard of a blue shore crab, let alone seen one before. This must be a one-in-a-million."

Richard Harrington of the Marine Conservation Society said very small juvenile shore crabs occurred in a wide variety of colours, but gradually reverted to the more familiar green or brownish hue through progressive moults.

"A bright blue specimen the size of the crab in Oban is very unusual," he added. "It is probably a result of a lack of pigment rather than an unusual pigment colour."

Shore crabs are one of our most common crabs, and anyone who has ever explored a rock-pool is likely to have seen one. They grow to just over three inches across the shell, feeding on a variety of molluscs, worms and small crustaceans. Females can produce up to 185,000 eggs which they carry on the underside of their shells.

Press Release issued by The Scottish SEA LIFE Sanctuary
For more details, please contact Kirsty Morrison on 01389 722440
Date: April 2015