Preying on three-ways, sack-back worms, and tokorats, the tadpole crabs hunt primarily at night when they cannot be seen by larger predators, spending the day sleeping deep in the least accessible parts of the tangled weeds. At night, they stretch their long legs to feel for prey as they crawl through the weeds. When needed, they can also swim by means of a powerful tail.
Most organisms on Ectora undergo a gradual transformation in anatomy as they age, but few can be said to truly undergo metamorphosis. In contrast, tadpole crabs grow up to become frog crabs. To reduce competition, the adults feed during the day and mostly eat plankton or small swimming weeds that they capture in their comb-like claws. They lose their tail and instead rely on their flippered legs. These legs easily detach if caught.
During mating season, males will dance to catch the attention of females. If she is receptive, the male will pull off one of his own legs and offer it as a meal to fortify her for the ordeals of pregnancy. While she is distracted with her meal, the male will then fertilize her eggs. After a short gestation period, the female will lay her eggs inside a large clump of seaweed where they hatch immediately.
Written by Daniel Noe, ChampionOfTheGalaxy.com