Land Invertebrates

Crustacea

Ghost crab / Loulou grangalo

Ocypodes ceratophtalmus & O.cordimana

Ghost crab

There are two species of these pale-coloured crabs on the island. One with rather pointy eyes, the other with more rounded eyes. Both species can also be found on most other islands in Seychelles. On Cousin, they can be found on the beach and throughout the plateau, feeding on decaying matter. They burrow tunnels in the beaches, and at night, the males produce a grasshopper-like sound by vibrating their front claws.

Hermit crab / Solda

Coenobita rugosus & C.brevimanus

Hermit crab

These terrestrial crabs can be seen roaming throughout the plateau in search of decaying matter to eat, their legs and antennae protruding from a seashell. When disturbed, they quickly tuck themselves into the shell, as did the shell’s original inhabitant mollusc. As the crabs grow they find bigger shells to live in – one reason why we ask visitors not to collect any seashells from the island.

Myriapods

Giant millipede / Milpat

Seychelleptus seychellarum

Seychelles giant millipede

Endemic giant millipedes (up to 30cm long) can often be found under leaf litter or rotting coconut husks. They may look ferocious but are actually harmless, feeding on leaf litter and fallen fruits. Like other millipedes, they secrete a defensive chemical to protect themselves from predators. Giant millipedes are found on several small islands, such as Cousine, Marianne and Cousin, as well as on some of the larger islands such as La Digue, Silhouette and Frégate. It is believed that they were previously found on Praslin and Mahé, but probably declined due to the removal of indigenous forests as well as predation by introduced mammals.