FWC News Release

March 20, 2008
Contact: Carli Segelson, 727-896-8626

Biologists at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's (FWC) Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI) need help from the public in identifying horseshoe crabs spawning on beaches throughout the state.

The best time to find horseshoe crabs spawning is around a high tide, right before or just after a full or new moon. The next full moon will be on Saturday, March 22.

Observant beachgoers can report the time, date and location of horseshoe crab sightings through one of several convenient options. Go to http://research.MyFWC.com/horseshoe_crab and fill out an online survey, or e-mail findings to horseshoe@MyFWC.com, or call the FWC at 1-866-252-9326.

Biologists also want to know the number of horseshoe crabs seen by observers and whether the horseshoe crabs are spawning.

Horseshoe crabs benefit humans in several ways. For instance, research on the compound eyes of horseshoe crabs led to better understanding of the human visual system, and horseshoe crab blood is useful in the biomedical industry. In addition, manufacturers use the material of a horseshoe crab’s shell (chitin) to make contact lenses, skin creams and hair sprays.