Spider Crab

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Ar-1590 SPIDER CRAB, Libinia emarginata and L. dubia

Will tear an attractive orange or blue sponge apart and stick it on their backs as a decorating camouflage. Excellent scavengers and predators. Highly sensitive to salinity changes, used as examples of strict stenohaline osmoconformers in physiology experiments. Females gravid February through May. Size: 6-10 cm.


They have poor vision as they are only able to detect dim and bright lights (Wald, 1968). However, they have sensitive chemo receptors on the ends of their legs that help them find food (Tybee Island Marine Center).


Along the coast of Nova Scotia to Florida to Brazil (Tybee Island Marine Center). They have been found anywhere between gray, coarse sand, broken shell to coral bottoms.


Spider crabs eat by scooping up detritus and algae through the ends of their claws (Tybee Island Marine Center). They prefer prey with a mean weight of 12% of their own weight (Aldrich 1976).



Ecological Role of the Spider Crab

A Mating Aggregation of the Spider Crab (Libinia emarginata)


IZ.030756: Libinia emarginata Digital Image: Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History; photo by E. Lazo-Wasem, 2016 metadata updated: 28 Jun 2016 19:48:19

Wald, G (1968) “Single and multiple visual systems in arthropods.” Journal of General Physiology, 51: 125-156

“Common Spider Crab” Tybee Island Marine Center

Aldrich, J.C. (1974) “Allometric studies on energy relationships in the spider crab Libinia emarginata(Leach)”. Biological Bulletin, 147(2): 257- 273