Hemigrapsus estellinensis – It Was Very Good

Yellow Shore Crab (Hemigrapsus oregonensis) on Orcas Island Washington, 2008

Hemigrapsus estellinensis

The Hemigrapsus estellinensis was first described in a paper published in 1964 by Gordon Creel who “discovered” the species in February of 1962. In the same article, Creel shared his belief that the species was already extinct.

Estellinensis’ was found in the Estelline Salt Springs in the panhandle of Texas, 500 miles from any ocean. The species nearest relative, the yellow shore crab (pictured above,) is endemic to the northwest coast of North America.

The small crab was nearly square it’s body dimensions being less than an inch on each side. The crab’s limbs and claws were noted for being smaller than its oceanic relatives’. The small crab was a greyish-green color and noted for the three white spots it had on its back.

H. estellinensis, The Southwestern Naturalist Vol. 8, No. 4 (Feb. 5, 1964), pp. 236-241

Creel returned to the springs in December of 1962 and despite eight days of extensive searching was unable to find a single specimen. In fact, most of the life in the springs was gone, including an unidentified barnacle that Creel had made note of on his February trip. The extinction of the crab and the other life in the springs is believed to have been caused by the containment of the springs by the Army Corp of Engineers .

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Author: Jonathon

Doesn’t mix well with polite company; his two favorite topics being politics and religion. Would rather be out cycling, swimming, running, or camping. Misspent his youth reading genre-fiction; today, he is making up for it by reading large quantities of non-fiction literature. The fact that truth, in every way, is more fascinating than fiction still tickles him.

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