• Aerial View of Padre Island National Seashore

    Padre Island

    National Seashore Texas

There are park alerts in effect.
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  • Park Phone issues

    The visitor center main phone line and fax line are not working. To reach the park visitor center, call (361) 949-8069. Fax to (361) 949-7091, Attention: Visitor Center. We apologize for the inconvenience.

  • Bird Island Basin Campground rehabilitation starts August 18, 2014

    The second part of a project to repair facilities and rebuild eroded shoreline at Bird Island Basin Campground begins August 18. Minor disruptions of activities in the immediate area may occur. None of the work should affect use of the boat ramp.

Atlantic Sand Crab

Mole Crab

When you dig your toes into the sand where the waves wash in, you may feel a mole crab digging to find its way back to its sandy home.

Photo courtesy of the Gulf Specimen Marine Laboratory

Also called Mole Crabs, Beach Fleas, Sand Bugs, Sand crabs and Sand Fiddlers, the Atlantic Sand crab is a small (1 inch in length or less), gray-tan colored crab with very short legs that they use to dig down backwards into the sand. Found along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, this mole-like crab will burrow backwards into the sand and extend its antennae aboveground. This enables it to snag and filter algae and plankton as the waves wash overhead. Its sandy color keeps it camouflaged, allowing it to hide from predators such as shorebirds and gulls, Blue and Ghost crabs, and some fish. Some surf fishermen use this crab as bait for Pompano, Redfish, Sheepshead, and Whiting.

Did You Know?

NPS arrowhead

Metal detecting is prohibited at Padre Island National Seashore as well as at all other units of the National Park Service. More...