“They’re there,” said Hap Fatzinger, the curator of the N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher.
Sand fiddlers, also called sand fleas, are mole crabs.
It is possible mole crabs have moved along local beaches after recent dredging projects, Fatzinger said. Dredging can change the texture or makeup of the sediments along a nearby beach. The crabs would generally stay away from areas with rough shell fragments, especially at high tide. He said mole crabs like fine sand because they can extend their antenna up to feed.
“They move up and down the beach up and down the tide lines,” he said.
But Fatzinger said he has seen plenty of the crabs locally, including the Wrightsville Beach and Fort Fisher areas.
“I can’t say their population has declined,” he said. “They are very common on our beaches.”
Date posted: June 23, 2010