Mediterranean Spider Crab

Scientific name Maja squinado
Descriptor Herbst
Year of description 1788
IUCN category NE
Family Majidae
Genus Maja
Maja squinado Maja squinado


Maja squinado, commonly known as Mediterranean Spider Crab, is a salt water crustacea from the Mediterranean Sea.

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Who is it?


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

How to recognize the Mediterranean Spider Crab ?

The Mediterranean Spider Crab measures between 18 and 22 cm. this crustacea is bicolore with a predominantly orange and marron body.

Behaviour & Life cycle

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

Like all crustaceans, The Mediterranean 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 Mediterranean Spider Crab is a crustacea living in a group or alone. This species is omnivorous with carnivorous tendency .

Although the Mediterranean Spider Crab is non-territorial, it is sometimes aggressive towards other species.


  • Reproduction

The Mediterranean 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 - 150 m

Biotope presentation

The Mediterranean Spider Crab is most often found at a depth between 0m and 150m. 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

The Fishipedia team and specialist contributors are committed to providing high-quality content. However, although the information comes from scientific sources or testimonials from specialists, the cards may contain inaccuracies.

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.

Bibliographic references

A review of the Maja squinado (Crustacea: Decapoda: Brachyura) species-complex with a key to the eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean species of the genus - V. Neumann - Journal of Natural History - 2007.

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Where to see this species?

Scientific partners

Same genus

Species of the same biotope

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