‘Herman’, the Gynandromorph spider Crab
IWDG Strandings Network member and former director, Kevin Mac Cormick was alerted to the discovery of an “unusual” Spider Crab on Thursday last, 30th April.
Local fisherman James Walsh on board his vessel “My Sophie” had retrieved this specimen and immediately recognised that he had something quite odd and alerted Kevin and explained that he had a live, mutated bisexual crab on his boat!
Kevin was so intrigued by this rarity that he took some pictures and sent them off to scientific experts within the Irish Whale & Dolphin Group and began to research the phenomenon on-line.
Meanwhile the crab was isolated and kept alive over the weekend and research revealed that the gynandromorphism-a condition that occurs when an egg splits into two and develops both male and female characteristics.
The specimen is now in the hands of Declan Quigley, senior Port Manger of the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority in Howth where the sample will be scrutinised and hopefully will go on display in the National Museum.
*Title changed 12/05/2020