20 June 2011

Crabs from Christmas Islands



Date of Issue : 7 June 2011

Here are new stamps from Christmas Island featuring four varieties of crabs which are found there.The land crabs of Christmas Island are remarkable for their abundance and the role they play in the ecology of the island's rainforest. Through their scavenging activities they recycle nutrients locked in fallen leaves. Their burrowing tills the soil and their browsing on tree fruits and shoots is probably an important factor in determining forest composition.

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Twenty-three land or freshwater crabs have been identified on the island. The following  varieties are  featured on stamps .

Red crab Gecarcoidea natalis (60c)
The sight of the red crabs on their annual breeding migration is one of the outstanding natural spectacles of the world.

Robber crab Birgus latro (60c)
The robber crab lives mainly on fallen leaves and fruits of the rainforest, and is one of the largest and most common crabs on Christmas Island.

Jackson's crab Karstarma jacksoni ($1.20)
Along with the red and blue crabs, Jackson's crab is thought to be endemic to Christmas Island and is found in cool, moist environments.

Blue crab Discoplax hirtipes ($1.20)
The blue crab lives mainly on the fallen leaves and fruits of the rainforest and is one of the largest and most common crabs found on Christmas Island.


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