PORT PHILLIP BAY


Giant Spider Crab 

Leptomithrax gaimardii (Milne Edwards, 1834)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Carapace pear-shaped, strongly narrowing anteriorly, middorsal regions with many spines and tubercles. Rostral spines stout but more slender in juveniles. Basal antennal article prominent reaching end of eye. Intercalated spine reaching end of antorbital spine on supraorbital eave and in same plane (shorter in juveniles); postorbital lobe with subapical spine prominent in adult, smaller in juvenile, plus second spine or tubercle on posterior margin.

Source: Poore, G.C.B. (2004) Marine decapod Crustacea of southern Australia. A guide to identification (with chapter on Stomatopoda by Shane Ahyong). CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne, 574 pp.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Arthropoda
Subphylum:
Crustacea
Class:
Malacostraca
Subclass:
Eumalacostraca
Superorder:
Eucarida
Order:
Decapoda
Suborder:
Pleocyemata
Infraorder:
Brachyura
Family:
Majidae
Subfamily:
Majinae
Genus:
Leptomithrax
Species:
gaimardii

Other Names

  • Great Spider Crab

General Description

Carapace rounded and red-brown. Seaweed sometimes attached to body. Up to 16 cm wide (carapace).

Biology

Giant Spider Crabs form large groups when breeding, often more than one hundred crabs to a group.

Habitat

Seaweed, reef and sand areas, to depth of 820 m.

Reefs

Soft substrates

Distribution guide

Southern Australia.

Species Group

Crabs and allies Crabs

Depth

Shallow (1-30 m)
Deep ( > 30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

16 cm

Diet

Carnivore

Harmful

Not harmful but a nip from large claws could be painful

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Native to Australia

Species Code

MoV 3718

Conservation Status

  • DSE Advisory List : Not listed
  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Not listed

Author

article author Taylor, J.

Dr. Jo Taylor is the Sciences Collections Online Coordinator at Museum Victoria.

Author

article author Poore, G.C.B.

Dr. Gary Poore is Principal Curator Emeritus at Museum Victoria.

citation

Cite this page as:
Taylor, J. & Poore, G.C.B., 2011, Giant Spider Crab, Leptomithrax gaimardii, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 18 Oct 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/3976

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