The Largest Crabs in the World

When we visit the beach, we always see these beautiful little animals that run sideways and enjoy adults and children. However, maybe you didn´t know that there are larger crabs species, which have dimensions that amaze anybody.
Let’s get to know them.
Japanese Spider Crab:
The spider crab lives in the waters around Japan, and it has the longest leg-span of all the arthropods. Japanese spider crab has an 18 ft leg-span from claw-to-claw, and its body can grow about 16 inches in carapace-width. The spider crabs can weigh about 42 lbs. Other than their size, these crabs are different from the other crabs in numerous ways, including their larvae, which appear twisted and their unusually twisted pleopods. These crabs are orange in color with white-spotted legs.

Habitat and Distribution
These crabs are commonly found around the southern Japanese coast of Honshu from Kagoshima prefecture to Tokyo Bay. The adults live at depths between 160 to 1,970 ft. The Japanese spider crabs reside in holes and vents in the broader areas of the ocean. Their temperature preference is still unknown, but they have been found in Virunga bay, where the average temperature is around10 degrees Celsius.

These crabs are omnivorous, and they feed on almost anything they can stumble upon, including shellfishes, dead fishes, algae, and even plants that grow on the ocean floor. Japanese spider crabs are foragers.

Japanese spider crabs breed seasonally from January to March, and the female lays over 1.5 million eggs each season, although only a few of them survive. After hatching the eggs, the young ones are left to look after themselves. These crabs can live up to a maximum of 100 years in their natural habitats.

Tasmanian Giant Crab:
The Tasmanian crab is a large crab species that resides on muddy and rocky bottoms of the ocean around the Southern Australian at a depth of 66 to 2,690 feet underwater. During winter, they are more abundant at around 620 to 1,310 ft deep while in summer, they are found at 360 to 590 ft depth. The Tasmanian crab species have been commercially fished in Australia since 1992. They are slow-growing and long-lived creatures that are vulnerable due to overfishing.

With a weight of 39 lbs and an 18-inch carapace width, the Tasmanian giant crab is one of the biggest crabs found on earth. Male Tasmanian giant crabs can be more than twice their female counterparts in size. The female Tasmanian crabs can reach a maximum of 15 lbs while the male can weigh approximately 29 lbs. The females have normal-sized claws, but the males have one oversized claw, which is longer than their carapace-width. Adult crabs appear red on top and yellowish-white below with black-tipped claws. The younger crabs appear red and yellowish spotted above.

Behavior and Diet
These crabs mate between June and July, with females carrying them up to 2 million eggs for the next four months. Once hatched, the larvae float for two months before settling down. The adult females shed their carapace every nine years, but the juveniles do it every 3-4 years. The crabs feed on carrions and slow-moving creatures like crustaceans and gastropods and starfish. Cannibalism is also present in these species.

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