Chesapeake horseshoe crabs crawl back

Every spring, John Rodenhausen looks forward to seeing a few horseshoe crabs on the beach at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s headquarters outside Annapolis.

This year, Rodenhausen said, thousands of the prehistoric-looking creatures, which resemble spiders more than crabs, were mating on the Annapolis beach in late May. As is their wont, the smaller males attached to the larger female, sometimes four to five at a time — one large carapace surrounded by smaller ones, like points on a star.

“It blew us all away,” said Rodenhausen, the foundation’s Maryland development director. “You’ll always see a few, and you might see a dozen, but we saw thousands. And it wasn’t even a full moon.”

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About the author

Jessica Hathaway

Jessica Hathaway is the editor in chief of National Fisherman. She has been covering the fishing industry for 13 years, serves on the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute’s Communications Committee and is a National Fisheries Conservation Center board member.

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