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Plate Number: II 32

Cancer terrestris, Cuniculos Sub terra agens: The Land Crab

Land Crab Plate Number: II 32

The Bahama-Islands as well as most Lands between the Tropicks, abound with these Animals, in some Places the Ground being almost covered with them, so thick they are, when out of their Holes that the Earth seems to move as they crawl about. If any one has a Stick in their Hand, they will not suffer themselves to be approached so near as without it, and if walking regardless amongst them without any Thing in Hand, they will approach you with menacing Gestures, and with one of their Claws raised threaten to attack you. They make their Holes like Rabbits in Candy Lands, in some of the mountainous Islands; they in breeding Time annually descend the Hills in vast Numbers to lay their Eggs near the Sea, whatever they meet with in their Passage they go over, never going aside let Houses, Churches or what will stand in their Way; They have been known to enter in at a Window, and on a Bed, where People who never before had seen any, were not a little surprized. They are of various Sizes, the largest about six Inches wide; they walk Side-ways like the Sea-Crab, and are shaped like them, some are black, some yellow, some red and others variegated with red, white, and yellow mixed. Some of these as well as the Fish of this Country are poisonous, of which several People have died, particularly of the black kind. The light-coloured are reckoned best, and when full in Flesh are very well tasted. In some of the Sugar Islands they are eat without Danger, and are no small help to the Negro Slaves, who on many of the Islands would fare very hard without them. They feed on Vegitables.

Tapia trifolia fructu majore oblongo

This usually grows but to a small Tree of about 20 Feet high, and the Body about eight or ten Inches Diameter; the Leaves are trifoliate, hanging opposite to each other on long Stalks, the Fruit likewise hang on very long Stalks, and are of the Size and Shape of Spanish Olives, and of a yellow Colour, enclosing a Stone like that of a Plum. Of these Fruit amongst many others these Crabs feed.

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