Spider crabs are known for having 10 long slender legs they use to crawl on the oceans floor.
They have the ability to lose their legs. When in danger this ability often saves their lives when attacked.
Their pincers help catch and hold onto food. Spider crabs will cover themselves with sponges and seaweed as camouflage to help attack prey. Often referred to as "decorator crabs," these masters of disguise can change color to match their surroundings. Normally, they are a reddish-brown.
Often referred to as “decorator crabs,” the spider crab is a masters of disguise that can change color to match its surroundings.
Their outer shells are covered with small bumps used to attach to different organisms for camouflage.
Crabs play an important role in the food chain cleaning up carcasses. Spider crabs are scavengers that will eat algae, seaweed, dead starfish, sea urchins, sea squirts and worms. They will basically eat anything they can fit into their mouths.
Spider crabs shed their shells and grow by molting. After molting, the old shell is replaced by a larger shell.
Spider crabs are not used commercially but can be a major by-catch. They are typically discarded and thrown back into the water. They are not usually considered edible but some people claim spider crab meat is delicious. Still, they are not highly sought after for table fare.
Spider crabs are nocturnal and hunt at night. They often bury themselves into the sand and wait to ambush their prey.
Male spider crabs tend to be larger than female spider crabs.
Spider crabs do not travel long distances. A spider crab moves forward and sideways at the same time, which is an interesting trait. They are a slow-moving crab unlike many other crab species.
Spider crabs are often seen on Gasparilla Island beaches crawling along the shoreline in search of food.
Some anglers catch these spider crabs from time to time. It's quite a surprise when you reel up a crab versus a fish. Some say spider crabs can be used as bait or as chum to attract certain species of fish.