Monday, April 9, 2012

A pearl of a pea crab

Ever eaten a pea crab? Recently, at an oyster roast fundraiser for the Eastern Shore of Virginia's YMCA Camp Silver Beach, some diners had quite a treat! Our president, Pam Barefoot, told the kids they were like crab M&Ms. A pea crab lives in oysters, clams, mussels and other species of bivalves for protection. The crab feeds on any grit present, thus keeping the bivalve clean and healthy. Females have a soft carapace, or outer shell, are pinkish white, and stretch only as much as 2 centimeters across. An irregular stripe runs from front to back. These delicate crabs especially live in oysters from the Chesapeake Bay region, where some refer to them as Washington crabs because George Washington favored them for use in his chowder. Males, seldom seen, are smaller, dark brown, and usually free-swimming.

And speaking of the oyster roast fundraiser, we hope it raised big bucks for such a great camp! The facility offers an amazing experience for young people - check it out on Facebook at YMCA Camp Silver Beach or online at - you won't believe all it has to share!

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