Crabs spawn in Ikema-jima

Crabs spawn in Ikema-jima

In the moonlight at 9:15pm on July 4 on Ikema-jima, Miyako, okagani moved toward the water’s edge.

July 5, 2012 Ryukyu Shimpo

On the night on June 4, in Taira on Ikema-jima, north of Miyako-jima, a species of terrestrial crab known as okagani was observed spawning. The crabs moved down towards the sea in the moonlight with eggs about to hatch stuck on their bellies.

Every year around the time of the full moon on May 15 in the old lunar calendar it is normal to observe the spawning of such crabs on Ikema-jima, where the distance between the wetland and the seashore is relatively short. At sunset, at around 7:00pm on July 4, which is May 15 in the old lunar calendar, the crabs started to move and crossed the road that runs around the island.

The crabs managed to get to the sea to shake their bodies in tune with the movement of the waves, spawning their progeny.

Juna Taira of Ikema Elementary School watched the crabs spawn, saying,“I come to watch the crabs spawn every year, but this year I am glad to be able to watch them close up with so many big ones in there.”

(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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