Bonaire: Crab & Flounder Mystery

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carlk3
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Bonaire: Crab & Flounder Mystery

Post by carlk3 » Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:21 pm

Why would a crab chase a flounder? Why would the flounder chase the crab?

Last month in Bonaire, we watched a Flame Box Crab and a Peacock Flounder chase each other. We watched for 10 minutes as they went back and forth. I got some of it on video:



Why are they behaving like that? They seem too evenly matched to eat each other. Could the flounder be hoping the crab will stir something up(something that happens at 6:30 in the video)? But they why does the crab sometimes follow the flounder?

This was at Bari Reef in about 12 feet of water.

Any information much appreciated,

Carl

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carlk3
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Re: Bonaire: Crab & Flounder Mystery

Post by carlk3 » Thu Apr 18, 2019 9:01 am

Mystery solved!

Thanks to club member Greg Jenson for looking at the video -- He is the author of a beautiful book on crabs and an e-book on flatfish, http://www.molamarine.com/

Greg writes (shared with permission):
Hi
very cool. The crab is definitely on the hunt, probing the sediment for buried snails and hermit crabs. The flounder is hoping he'll stir something up or catch something that he can steal scraps off of-- see this type of behavior a lot around here with red rock and dungeness crabs and sanddabs. I think the times the crab approached the fish were just random- these crabs have poor vision and that sole blends in really well. I'm sure you noticed that near the end something gets flushed out and the flounder goes and nails it.
Greg

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Penopolypants
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Re: Bonaire: Crab & Flounder Mystery

Post by Penopolypants » Thu Apr 18, 2019 9:11 am

I once encountered a flounder cruising above the eel grass at the junk yard. It came right at my face, and nipped at the bolt snap dangling off my regulator. Always searching for food. Fish are funny!
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