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ARTHROPODA
Uniramia (Insecta)
Chelicerata
Crustacea
Pycnogonida

 
CRUSTACEA
Branchiopoda
Branchiura
Cirripedia
Copepoda
Ostracoda
Malacostraca

 
MALACOSTRACA
Stomatopoda
Mysidacea
Cumacea
Isopoda
Amphipoda
Euphausiacea
Decapoda
DECAPODA
Caridae
Astacidae
Palinura
Anomura
Brachyura

 
 

 

 Crab Database

  Pea Crab
 
Common Name(s):
Pea Crab
Scientific Name:
  Pinnotheres spp. 
Family:
Usual Size:
Male with a carapace about the size of a garden pea
 
                                    Photograph by Andy Horton 
Identification:
 
 

This crab, as its name suggests, has a shell the size of a pea. Or, at least the brown male Pea Crab has. This is the crab that can be seen swimming in estuaries over mussel beds. It the most active swimmer of all the British crabs.

The female is quite different. She is almost twice the size of the male and usually yellow with a bright red blob on its soft shell. She is hardly able to crawl and cannot swim.
 

She does not need to because she spends her whole life inside in a live mussel shell. The male fertilises her eggs by swimming inside the mussel when it opens to feed.

Similar species: 

Breeding: 

Habitat:

Food:
 
 

Range:

Additional Notes:

This crab has been known to crawl out of clams served raw in French restaurants.
 

Information wanted: Please send any records of this crab, with location, date, who discovered it, how it was identified, prevalence, common name and any other details to 
Shorewatch Project EMail Glaucus@hotmail.com. 
All messages will receive a reply. 
   
Shorewatch Project

 


 

FIVE KINGDOMS TAXONOMIC INDEX TO BRITISH MARINE WILDLIFE
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