Japanese Spider Crab

Creature Feature – Japanese Spider Crab

This week is the letter ‘J’, and today’s featured creature is the Japanese Spider Crab.

Otherwise known as the Giant Spider Crab, this species is a giant crustacean (the largest living species) often found inhabiting holes and pits on the ocean floor.

Japanese Spider Crab -  Creature Feature Friday

Taxonomy

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Arthropoda

Order: Decapoda

Family: Inachidae

Genus: Macrocheira

Japanese Spider Crab Fact File

? Size: Individuals can have a leg-span of up to 4m and weigh up to 20kg

? Distribution: This species can be found on the Pacific side of Japan and Taiwan

? Diet: Omnivores, they consume plants, algae, molluscs, shrimp, small fish

? Behaviour: Due to their length and spiny attachments, the legs of these giant crabs may get torn off when caught in fishing nets or by predators. However, these limbs can regrow when the crab goes through a moulting cycle. This species goes through a larval stage after hatching and before maturing into adults. As adults, individuals can live for 100 years!

? IUCN Status: Not Evaluated. However, due to overfishing and destruction of their natural environments, numbers have been reported to be decreasing. There are various conservation efforts to help protect the species from overfishing