FWC asks public to report horseshoe crab sightings
It's that time again... Horseshoe crabs are "looking for love"!
A ritual dating back millions of years takes place again this spring on Florida beaches. Spring marks horseshoe crabs' mating season, and biologists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) want the public's help identifying spawning sites.
Beachgoers will likely have the best luck spotting mating horseshoe crabs around high tide, just before, during or after a new or full moon. The new moon on March 30 will create ideal opportunities to view the spawning behavior of horseshoe crabs.
Mating crabs "pair up," with the smaller male on top of the larger female. Other male crabs may also be present around the couple. Beachgoers lucky enough to spot horseshoe crabs are asked to note how many they see and whether the horseshoe crabs are mating. If possible, the observer should also count how many horseshoe crabs are mating adults and how many are juveniles (4 inches wide or smaller).
In addition, biologists ask observers to provide the date, time, location, habitat type and environmental conditions - such as tides and moon phase - when a sighting occurs.
The FWC asks the public to report sightings through one of several options: