Spider crab

Spider crabs

Spider crabs are a family of long, skinny-legged crabs containing over 700 species. Often small and slow-moving, some species look like bits of debris and further camouflage themselves by adorning the bristles and spines of their exoskeleton with algae, seaweed and corals. This family contains the largest known arthropod - the Japanese spider crab - which has a leg span of four metres.

Scientific name: Majidae

Rank: Family

Watch video clips from past programmes (2 clips)

In order to see this content you need to have an up-to-date version of Flash installed and Javascript turned on.


The Spider crabs can be found in a number of locations including: Mediterranean. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.

When they lived

Discover the other animals and plants that lived during the following geological time periods.

Video collections

Take a trip through the natural world with our themed collections of video clips from the natural history archive.

  • Seaside spectacular Seaside spectacular

    When it comes to summer holidays, there's no better place than the seaside and if you know where to look you'll be surprised at the wildlife you can find.

  • The wildlife of Life The wildlife of Life

    In autumn 2009, a major new series brought us life as we've never seen it before.