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Sand hopper


up to 2.5 centimeters


brown grey


up to 21 months old


organic waste, such as rotting seaweed and dead animals


insects, some birds (plovers), sea horses



  • Dut: Strandvlo
  • Lat: Talitrus saltator
  • Eng: Sand hopper
  • Ger: Strandfloh
  • Dan: Sandspringer
  • Dut: Kwelderspringer
  • Lat: Orchestia gamarella
  • Eng: see Latin
  • Ger: Strandhüpfer
Sand hopper, foto fitis, sytske dijksen

Sand hopper

High tide leaves flotsam behind on the beach, at the flood-mark. That's just the spot to find sand hoppers. They usually crawl around under the debris to prevent dehydration during the day. If you stand on or tilt up a pile of old seaweed on the beach, large numbers will jump away. They can 'hop' a distance of 1 meter, so you understand where they got their name. Although you often find them on the beach, they are also good swimmers. There are a several species of sand hoppers found in the Netherlands.

  • Orchestia gamarella
    Orchestia gamarella, Erik van Ommen,

    There is even a kind of sand hopper that lives along the edge of the mudflats, the Orchestia gamarella.

  • Distribution and habitat
    Sand hopper, Erik van Ommen,

    Sand hoppers are very common on Dutch beaches.