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I caught a striper on Saturday morning and, when I was cleaning it, I checked its stomach contents to see what it had been eating before it ate my plug. It was was filled with what looked like the head and torso portion of a shrimp or crawfish w/o the tail. I thought: "he's been dining on shrimp."

This morning I fished RM2 and hooked one of these buggers (shrimp torsoes, not a striper) on my surface popper. When I pulled it off and dropped it on the sand it immediately burrowed into the sand. Can anyone tell me what these buggers are?
 

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I caught an interesting shellfish also a few weeks back at Moses #2. It was a couple of inches long and looked like a shrimp or a crayfish without any claws and its tail was shaped like a spade. It was a light pink color. I called a biologist at the DEC the next day and describe the critter. I was told it was most likly a MANTIS SHRIMP. They are common on the South Shore surf and the stipers eat them like candy. You may have caught one of these shrimp.
 

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Mantis Shrimp are nasty, they can dismantle a crab, leg by leg in about 2 minutes... How? IDK, all I remember watching one in my high school Marine Biology class go to work in our salt water tank on a pretty large stone crab, when it was done, all we had left was the crabs body cracked in half. The shrimp didn't even eat the thing, just beat the crap out of it and killed it.

Here is a link for info on them, read about how it can slash a fish in half and break double paned aquarium glass.
Chesapeake Bay Mantis Shrimp
 

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it sounds like doughboy caught a mole crab (Emerita talpoida).
mole crabs are much larger than amphipods such as scuds(Gammarus species).
mole crabs are good striper bait, as would be scuds if they were large enough to thread on a striper hook.
i think some of the references to sand fleas on this site are observations of scuds, especially in fall-surf-striper stomach contents which may often be packed with scuds, exclusively. Yet i have caught these same stripers on large poppers and swimmers, so it is not always necessary to "match the hatch".
both mole crabs and scuds are living large this time of year, as they feed on detritus such as fragments of decaying eelgrass and the microscopic community that colonizes the grass' surface.

set,
opinari
 

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After looking at the picture provided by jmc' I don't think it is a mantis shrimp. What I caught had a bigger carapace, like a crayfish or lobster. Now I will have to search for a picture of a mole crab to see if that is what it was.
 

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Well I found a picture of a mole crab and I believe that is probably what it was. I caught it in the dark and did not get a very good look at it with out my flashlight.

mole crab

Thanks for setting me straight.

This post edited by Hunt n' Fish 11:32 AM 08/22/2008
 

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doughboy and bassomatic,

nice follow-up and good observations to begin with.

i'm always willing to help people to learn about the environment.

frankly, if it weren't for guys like you, i wouldn't even bother.

set,
opinari
 
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