Female red crab spawns in the early hours on Ethel Beach. Once the crab eggs are dropped, the females begin the march back to the centre of the island. Meanwhile, after coming in contact with the sea water, the eggs hatch immediately and release clouds of young larvae.
Many of these do not survive as they are eaten by predators, but those that do, develop into prawn-like animals called megalopae. These gather in pools close to the shore for several days to finish the process of turning into young crabs. Leaving the water, the tiny baby crabs measure just 5 mm across. However, this doesn’t stop them from following in their parents’ footsteps and beginning the long march again.