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“Sea Shore Crab”
Scientific Classification By: (Linnaeus, 1758)
Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Arthropoda Subphylum:Crustacea Class: Malacostraca Order: Decapoda Suborder:Pleocyemata Infraorder: Brachyura
These pictures were taken last January 31, 2009 at Duka Bay Medina. Courtesy pictures of Christian K. Bagongon
Common shore crabs are a typical rock pool, or shallow water species. Eating whatever they can get their claws on, carrion and live prey. They use their strong claws to crack mussel shells and for fighting. Crabs Are decapod crustaceans of the infraorder Brachyura, which typically have a very short projecting "tail" (Greek: βραχύ/brachy = short, ουρά/οura = tail), or where the reduced abdomen is entirely hidden under the thorax. They are generally covered with a thick exoskeleton, and armed with a single pair of chelae (claws). 6,793 species are known. Crabs are found in all of the world's oceans. Additionally, there are also many freshwater and terrestrial crabs, particularly in tropical regions. Crabs vary in size from the pea crab, only a few millimetres wide, to the Japanese spider crab, with a leg span of up to 4 m. Habitat The shore crab is a common coastal species, found in shallow water to depths of around 60m (197ft). It is also found in estuaries and salt marshes, tolerating a wide range of salinities. Diet Crabs are omnivores, feeding primarily on algae, and taking any other food, including molluscs, worms, other crustaceans, fungi, bacteria and detritus, depending on their availability and the crab species. For many crabs, a mixed diet of plant and animal matter results in the fastest growth and greatest fitness. Reproduction Eggs are carried by the female and fertilized externally by the male. The eggs are released mainly in the spring, but crabs 'in berry' are present in all months. Young crabs are abundant in June. Fishery Crabs make up 20% of all marine crustaceans caught and farmed worldwide, with over 1½ million tonnes being consumed annually. Of that total, one species accounts for one fifth: Portunus trituberculatus. Other important taxa include Portunus pelagicus, several species in the genus Chionoecetes, the Blue crab (Callinectes sapidus), Charybdis spp., Cancer pagurus, the Dungeness crab (Cancer magister) and Scylla serrata, each of which provides more than 20,000 tonnes annually