Dancing crabs of the Goto Islands tideland

A countless number of tiny crabs are now active at a wetland on an island in Nagasaki Prefecture, southwestern Japan, moving their claws as if they are dancing.

The crabs, called Chigogani or small ocypodoid crabs, become active at around this time of the year on tidal land in Tomie Town, Goto City. Their tiny shells measure only one centimeter across.

The crabs throw their claws up and down in what appears to be a form of courtship dance.

The gesture is believed to be the way male crabs attract females, and to defend their territory.

The crab dance is viewed as one of the features that represent the rich nature of the Goto Islands.