Tiny Crabs Invade SoCal


Thousands of tiny red crabs washed up the shore on Catalina Island and more may show up on other beaches.

The Pleuroncodes planipes, also known as pelagic red crabs or tuna crabs, are about one to three inches long and usually found off Baja.

However warmer temperatures mean warmer water which pushes them up Southern California in large numbers.

In the crab invasion of 2015, hundreds of thousands hit the Huntington Beach shore in Dana Point.

Last year, they appeared at Dog Beach in Huntington and parts of Newport Beach in May.

Municipal operations director for the city of Newport Beach Mike Pisani says the crabs haven't made their way over to his beaches yet but believes the arrival is inevitable. 

While the crabs don't pose any sort of threat, they are wildly inconvenient.

Maintenance workers have a hard time clearing up the crabs, as most of them are dead and give off a terrible stench when they bake in the sun for hours.


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