Sunrise Hermit Crab Crowd Spawning On North Ambergris Caye

There has been some pictures and speculation over the last few years about a strange phenomenon on Ambergris Caye.  Once a year (for a few days) hermit crabs emerge from jungle and…have a giant get-together.  (Here is last year’s…a bit earlier in July and some pictures by Correspondent Kardashian.)

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If you are looking for an official “Migration Month” on the caye – July is definitely it.  Over the past week, we’ve seen the butterfly migration.  Cloudless sulphur butterflies and a handful of orange and yellow ones heading south for…who knows what.  Watch the beautiful video here.

And now the crabs…last night was the first of their mating dance/social gathering and just a strip of beach at the south end of Rojo Beach Bar.

Here’s what I saw at about 5am this morning…

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This seems to be some sort of night time madness…they were all retreating as the sun was coming up.

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RETREAT!  THE SUN!  They will see us!  RETREAT!

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And clinging to the coconut tree.

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Some really couldn’t be bothered.IMG_2907

One in a glossy pink shell….perhaps a bit of nailpolish from last year Finn?  And why does no one want to go near her?

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And then the gorgeous sunrise…

IMG_2955Love.  And the clicking of shells.

IMG_2940This should be going on for the next few days…they all start emerging in the late afternoon and…Rojo is open today but closed Sunday and Monday.

Just saying 🙂





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  • Laura Balis

    !!!! What kind of miraculous tropical sorcery is this? What’s the best time to head to Rojo today??

    • Belize Blog

      Laura…right? SUPER MYSTERIOUS! Let me go see what’s going on outside right now. 11:30am and they are gone. Fin says they will come out again as it gets dark. Nuts!

      • Laura Balis

        Is this only a phenomenon north of the bridge? Let me know if there are any crab parties tonight. Or else I’ll take advantage of my jet lag and go out at sunrise tomorrow. Are they just playing in the water at night then retreating to the forest during the day? So many questions.

        • Belize Blog

          This is the only one I know of on the island…I’ve heard of one WAYYY up north but not sure. All gone during the day. will come out at night…

  • BelizeBound

    I have seen this phenomenon before, in the Virgin Islands. It is a closely held secret meeting that Hermit crabs have annually every . They annually migrate to beach areas, drink lots of alcohol, and mate. It is called Hermit Crab SPRING BREAK.

  • So cool! I always saw a few in the evenings when walking Paisley, but never anything like this!

    • Belize Blog

      I’ve only heard of it here and then WAY up north…up past Tranquility. Mysterious. And so weird that when I went out at 10am…they were completely gone. Who says hermit crabs move slowly? Mating and then laying eggs in the water…crabs grow up in the water and then back out? I need to research this…

  • gabbylgm

    They do this at our house. It’s always at night, and they gather like this at our cistern. Super crazy and super cool at the same time!! (We’re just one mile north of the bridge.)

    • Belize Blog

      Oh cool! It is hard to believe that it only happens in one spot 🙂

  • Susan Watts

    Maybe there should be another Festival for the Hermit crabs! Wish I was there to see it…thanks as always for sharing!