spiny spider crab

Scientific name Maja brachydactyla
Descriptor Balss
Year of description 1922
IUCN category NE
Family Majidae
Genus Maja
Maja brachydactyla Maja brachydactyla


Maja brachydactyla, commonly known as spiny spider crab, is a salt water crustacea.

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Who is it?


  • Average size
    19 cm
  • Maximum size
    22 cm
  • Mimicry
    rocky bottoms
  • Average size
    19 cm
  • Maximum size
    22 cm
  • Mimicry
    rocky bottoms

How to recognize the spiny spider crab ?

The spiny spider crab measures between 19 and 22 cm. this crustacea is tricolore with a predominantly rouge, jaune and marron body.

Behaviour & Life cycle

  • Sociability
    living in a group or alone
  • territorial
  • Venomous
  • Way of living

Like all crustaceans, The spiny spider crab molts whenever it becomes cramped in its shell. Before the hardening of its new body, it is more vulnerable and spends a good part of its time hidden. This mechanism, very complex, allows the periodic renewal of the exoskeleton and part of the internal skeleton. It is also during the moult that the females become fertile.

The spiny spider crab is a crustacea living in a group or alone. This species is omnivorous with carnivorous tendency . this crustacea lives mainly at night. Usually, it leaves its hiding place and starts to be active once it gets dark.

Although the spiny spider crab is non-territorial, it is sometimes aggressive towards other species.


  • Reproduction
  • Migratory species

The spiny spider crab is a crustacea ovipare.

Harmless species

This species does not represent any particular threats to humans when encountered in its natural environment.

Where to find it?

Where to see this species?

What is its habitat?

Natural environment characteristics

  • Depth
    0 - 80 m

Biotope presentation

The spiny spider crab is most often found at a depth between 0m and 80m. However, it is not impossible to find this species at other depths.

This species lives in decaying vegetation (branches, leaves) in low current areas.

Species of the same biotope

To go further

To read on the web

Sources & Contributions

Participation & Validation

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Aurélien Calas

Aurélien Calas


Translation done with the valuable contribution of our translators, who make this information available to a wider audience. We sincerely thank them for their commitment.

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Where to see this species?

Scientific partners

Same genus

Species of the same biotope

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