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Ultimate passenger princess aka the longnose spider crab!

Because we’ve been finding a lot of cannon ball jellies washing up on Capers Island we wanted to highlight a fascinating oceanic partnership between long-nose spider crabs and cannonball jellies (aka the ultimate passenger princesses!!). While these creatures may seem worlds apart in appearance and behavior, they have found a remarkable way to coexist in the ocean. The relationship between long-nose spider crabs and cannonball jellies is a classic example of commensalism, where one organism benefits without significantly affecting the other. 

a spider crab in a cannon ball jelly

Long-nose spider crab on a cannonball jelly!

Long-nose spider crabs, also known as decorator crabs due to their habit of adorning themselves with materials from their surroundings, are a species of crab found off of our coasts. In a display of remarkable ingenuity, these crabs have been observed seeking shelter within the bell of cannonball jellies. By hitching a ride on the jelly’s gelatinous surface, the crabs gain protection from predators and access to a steady supply of food. 

Cannonball jellies, on the other hand, are gelatinous creatures belonging to the class Scyphozoa. Named for their spherical shape reminiscent of a cannonball, these jellies drift through the ocean currents, pulsating gently as they go. While they may seem like solitary drifters, cannonball jellies they are quite a host to smaller organisms seeking refuge and sustenance.

When the jellies are washing to shore, look in the bell of the cannonball jelly! You may be able to spot a spider crab friend who was riding a long. We are including a photo of both the jelly and long-nose spider crab because it is also important to only check out a jelly if you are sure it won’t harm you. Cannon ball jellies cannot sting humans! 

a sneaky spider crab in the bell of a cannon ball jelly.

Sneaky Spider crab!

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