Spider crab
Spider crab

Maïa squinado Libinia dubia Libinia emerginata


Infraorder: Brachyura

This is a spiny crab that lives on the sandy ocean depths, which fishermen fish at depths of up to 50 m. Its long thin legs are arranged like those of a spider, hence its name.

Its very convex shell is round, almost heart-shaped, from 10-20 cm in width, with two small points near the front. It can reach 30-35 cm in length. Ranging in color from pinkish yellow to beige, it takes on the color of the sand, sometimes with reddish-brown highlights. Aside from its sand-toned coloring, it also camouflages itself by placing little tufts of seaweed behind it.

Spider crabs are found on the Atlantic coast, particularly off Portugal. In America, they are the most common species found in the waters off the Florida coast in winter, to the great detriment of blue and rock crab fishermen, since they are able to get into the cages, eat the bait and leave.

Highly sensitive to water salinity, they avoid the mouths of rivers. They feed mostly on sea anemones. They thoroughly sweep the ocean floor, playing an important role in the underwater eco-system.


Culinary file

  • The flesh, particularly that of the female, is very fine.
  • Cook like any crab: in boiling water with a little salt and a few drops of vinegar.


Spider crab omelet
Jacques Thorel, anc. chef-propriétaire de l'Auberge Bretonne

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