Mud Lobster – Excavation

on 4th December 2019
Mud Lobster Mound

“Whenever we explore the back mangroves in Singapore or around Southeast Asia, one is almost certain to come across mud lobster mounds of various sizes, at multiple stages of development (above, below).

Mud Lobster Mound

“However, encounters with the actual mud lobster (Thalassina sp.) itself are often few and far between. One fine morning, I chanced upon this elusive and enigmatic crustacean (below) whilst strolling along a boardwalk. It was engrossed with excavating a burrow, as it repeatedly descended into the murky depths and returned to the surface, shoveling mud and sand.

Mud Lobster

“Video clips of this rarely observed creature may be previewed here:

“Mud lobsters play an immensely important role in the mangrove ecosystem. As a result of their tireless burrowing and tunnelling activity, the oxygen supply to the roots of mangrove plants is substantially increased. Nutrients from the depths are also brought up to the surface. A wide diversity of animals, from insects and spiders, to reptiles and even other crustaceans, are thus able to find a safe haven inside these cosy cavities.”

Dr Leong Tzi Ming
30th November 2019

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

Other posts by YC Wee

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