The Enigmatic Giant of the Deep: Japanese Spider Crab

The Japanese Spider Crab is one of the most amazing organisms on Earth, and it may be found in the deep, dark depths of the ocean. Both scientists and nature lovers have long been enthralled by this gorgeous and mysterious deep-water behemoth. The Japanese Spider Crab is a wonder of the ocean world due to its enormous size, intricate look, and enigmatic habits.

Japanese Spider Crab Overview

NameĀ  Japanese Spider Crab
Location: Pacific side of Japan and Taiwan
Lifespan: Up to 100 years
Size: Up to a 12.5 foot leg span
Weight: Around 42 pounds
Color: Orange and white bodies with long spiny legs
Diet: Omnivore: plants, algae, mollusks, shrimp, small fish
Predators: Large fish, stingrays, octopuses
Top Speed: Unknown
No. of Species: 1
Conservation Status: Not evaluated (IUCN)

Where do Spider Crabs Live?

On the ocean floor, Japanese spider crabs can be found around the Pacific coast of Japan. They are mostly found on the continental shelf and slope, which are made up of sand and rocks. When adult crabs are prepared to lay their eggs, they move to shallower waters, which are only about 50 meters (160 feet) deep. Younger crabs likewise reside in warmer, shallower waters before migrating downward as adults to deeper waters.

How big is a Japanese Spider Crab?

The Japanese spider crab is the largest living crab in the world due to its enormous leg span. The Japanese spider crab’s carapace, or primary body cavity, measures 12 inches (30 cm) in diameter. However, its legs, which keep growing even as an adult, can measure up to 12 feet (3.8 meters) from claw to claw.

What do Spider Crabs Eat?

These sluggish crabs do not swim; instead, they spend the majority of their time strolling on the seafloor in search of food. These scavengers search the seafloor for dead and rotting stuff rather than engaging in hunting. They eat algae, insects, and dead or decaying fish. While the majority of their diet consists of dead animals, they are also known to occasionally tear open mollusks, consume living algae, and catch small marine invertebrates.

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Life Cycle

Two zoeal stages and one megalopa stage are experienced by this species. Compared to other crabs in the same location, the zoeal stages typically last between 12-37 days. The megalopa stage usually lasts 30 days on average. The hatchlings writhe around during the first molt (the prezoeal stage), finally floating to the sea floor. Each hatchling in this area thrashes around until its carapace’s spines flick up. The cuticle is then dislodged and given the opportunity to twist and pull itself free.

All larval stages should be reared at a temperature of 15 to 18 degrees Celsius, while 11 to 20 degrees Celsius is the ideal survival range. Larval stages are probably found at shallower depths before moving to deeper waters later. Only adults may be seen at these depths in Suruga Bay, where the temperature is roughly 10 degrees.

In comparison to other decapod species in the area, these survival temperatures are significantly higher. In the laboratory, only around 75% of organisms reach the first zoeal stage under ideal growth conditions. When it comes to the second zoeal and megalopa stages, this percentage falls to about 33%.

Diet and Behavior

As was previously noted, Japanese spider crabs consume a variety of plant and animal debris. Invertebrates, algae, mollusks, decaying and dead fish, and other tiny marine species all make up their diet. They catch victims and rip apart their food using their long legs and strong claws.

Predators of Japanese spider crabs include octopuses and big fish. They use their robust exoskele ton and camouflage to defend themselves. They can also strike predators away when threatened by using their lengthy legs to deliver forceful kicks. Humans relish eating these crabs as a delicacy during the crab-fishing season.

Facts About The Japanese Spider Crab

  • They can regrow their legs.
  • The Japanese term “Taka-ashi-gani,” which translates to “tall legs crab,” is also used to refer to Japanese spider crabs.
  • They can glide across the ocean floor with ease thanks to their lengthy legs.
  • They can live up to 100 years, which is an exceptional lifetime.
  • The largest specimen ever discovered had legs that were around 5.5 meters (18 feet) long.

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