I was debating on whether or not to post before Christmas, but I got a cool new figure in the mail today, so I said, let’s do it! So today I am reviewing another Yowie figure for the Blog. This time it is the golden ghost crab, Ocypode convexa, from the recently-released series, Colors of the Animal Kingdom. This series has been recently been released in Australia, but not yet here in the U.S. I bought my figure on eBay. There are several other figures in the set I want, but for those I will wait for them to be sold in the U.S. (this being a new species of arthropod, I just couldn’t wait 🙂 ). Unlike past lines by Yowie Group, species in this set are not necessarily endangered, but rather they represent brightly colored or patterned animals from around the globe.
Ghost crabs are members of the family Ocypodidae, as are the more-familiar fiddler crabs. And like fiddler crabs, one claw is enlarged, although not to the degree as seen in fiddler crabs. Also, with fiddler crabs, the enlarged claw is an example of sexual dimorphism whereas in ghost crabs it can occur in females as well as males (albeit less commonly in females). To my knowledge, this is the first ocypodid figure that is not a fiddler crab.
The golden ghost crab is endemic to the western coast of Australia, where it occurs from the edge of the ocean to up to 500 m inland. They do not submerge themselves in the ocean but acquire moisture by wetting their gills with sea water, moist sand, or even damp vegetation following heavy rains. They are primarily nocturnal, spending the day in deep burrows. They can move quickly and are generalist scavengers and predators. They are considered one of the major predators of loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings where their populations overlap. I should point out they do not generally, if at all, inhabit rocky outcrops; I photographed this figure on rocks more for aesthetic reasons.
The figure has a carapace width of 2.0 cm, making it approximately 1:2 in scale. It is a solid-piece of firm PVC. Like so many Yowies, it is fairly generalized, but the detail in sculpt is not too bad for a figure of this size. It is not as cartoony as some Yowies can be (generally the arthropods and other invertebrates are pretty solid). The four walking legs are fused together, probably to avoid breakage.
This figure comes highly recommended to collectors of interesting species. It is a new species in toy/figure form and the first of its group (ghost crabs). At the time of this writing, it is only sold in Australia but can be bought on eBay. It should be sold in the U.S. in the near future, one would think!