Spider Crab

Crab spider
© Tasmanian Government. Image Peter Gouldthorpe
Season: Open all year

bag limit15


possession limit30


boat limit-

Limits apply to inshore crab species combined.

Guide to symbols

bagBag Limit
housePossession Limit
boatBoat Limit

Minimum size

See Crab Fishing for more information.

Other names

spider crab

Scientific name

Leptomithrax gaimardii

Grows to

Up to

160 mm (carapace length)

Identifying features

​This crab has an orange to brown rounded carapace with pointed front to the shell.  It has long legs relative to its body.​


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.

Fishing Information

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.​


Fishwatch Report illegal fishing

0427 655 557

What to report? arrow button

Contact us

Recreational Fishing

Level 3, 134 Macquarie St

Hobart TAS 7000

Phone: (03) 6165 3233, 1300 720 647

Email: fishing.enquiries@nre.tas.gov.au

Commercial Fisheries

Level 3, 134 Macquarie St

GPO Box 44

Phone: (03) 6165 3000, 1300 368 550

Email: commercial.fisheries@nre.tas.gov.au

Commercial Fisheries Licensing

Level 1, 134 Macquarie St

GPO Box 44

Phone: (03) 6165 3000, 1300 368 550

Email: fishing.licensing@nre.tas.gov.au