This crab has an orange to brown rounded carapace with pointed front to the shell. It has long legs relative to its body.
Whilst spider crabs may look appealing, retaining them for eating or for bait is not recommended. As they prepare to moult the flesh in the claws becomes watery and scarce. They may drop legs and claws very easily on landing.
Release crabs if eggs are attached.
Female crabs with eggs cannot be kept. Specialised crab traps cannot be used.
Abundant around Tasmania’s inshore coastal areas, particularly on silty substrates. Normally found in water depths down to 900 metres.
Not a targeted species, spider crabs may be encountered by fishers or divers when they enter shallow sandy waters. As the water cools they form aggregations as females prepare to moult prior to breeding. They may even form piles or mounds up to one metre deep. Large numbers of shells can wash up on beaches. At this time, crabs are sometimes caught as they may take baited hooks, become hooked or tangled in the fishing line or enter pots.
These crabs can give a powerful nip with their claws and be careful of the shell which is covered with small blunt spines.
Spider crabs taken from water over 50 metres deep may have flesh in good condition so the meat can be worth preparing as you would rock lobster. The meat is in the long legs and claws.
Level 3, 134 Macquarie St
Hobart TAS 7000
Phone: (03) 6165 3233, 1300 720 647
GPO Box 44
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