Great Spider Crab

Hyas araneus


A pear-shaped crab, with a pointed 'face', the Great Spider Crab has long, spindly legs similar to a spider. It lives amongst rocks and seaweed from the low tide mark out to sea, but is often washed up on the beach.

How to identify

Spider crabs are very different to 'typical' crabs. Orangey brown in colour, the Great Spider Crab is covered in jagged spines.

Where to find it

Found all around our coasts.


When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

How can people help

Crustaceans provide a vital link in the food chain for many of our rarer species. Our seas and coastline are in need of protection if we are to keep our marine wildlife healthy. The Wildlife Trusts are working with fishermen, researchers, politicians and local people towards a vision of 'Living Seas', where marine wildlife thrives. This work has recently had a massive boost with the passing of the Marine Bill, promising sustainable development of the UK's marine environment. Do your bit for our Living Seas by supporting your local Wildlife Trust.

Species information

Common name
Great Spider Crab
Latin name
Hyas araneus
Barnacles, crabs, shrimps and lobster
Width of body: up to 10cm
Conservation status