Newly hatched, a zeratus crab is extremely soft and must be handled with care, but over time, their carapace will harden. A young zeratus crab prefers living in water, eating plenty of plankton and algae, but as they age they make their way from the water to land where they start building their first sand castles, which are nothing more than a small mound of sand. A growing crab molts quite often, shedding its hard outer layer, until it reaches adulthood.
Found on many of the beaches around the known world, zeratus crabs are a beautiful sight scuttling across the white sands as their colorful shells glimmer in the sun. Living for up to a century long, these crabs make for an ideal long term companion. Small in size, only reaching up to twenty-three centimeters in width, they make up for it with their attitude, rarely backing down if threatened, brandishing their pincers menacingly at would be attackers. They will eat almost anything they can catch, from mussels, snails, fish, and plants to carrion and even other smaller crabs. Zeratus crabs are excellent builders, building their homes on the beach with sand, small rocks, twigs and anything shiny that they can get their claws on, all held together with a slimy substance they produce that is nearly impossible to break once hardened. This substance makes these crabs quite popular among builders, making a building much more secure with a coat of hardened slime on the outside. This is especially useful in tropical locations where sudden storms can cause a lot of damage.
Sprite art: Jrap17 | Description: Jrap17