Maja brachydactyla Balss, 1922
Atlantic spinous spider crab
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Family:  Majidae (spider crabs)
Max. size:  22 cm CL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  benthic; marine; depth range 0 - 80 m
Distribution:  Eastern Atlantic: from the North Sea to Morocco and Bay of Biscay, extending southwards to Namibia including off lying islands.
Biology:  Maximum depth from Ref. 115714. Juveniles about to reach maturity live in shallow waters from 10 to 15 m deep on rocky and sandy substrates (Ref. 115713). They are also found on sandy bottoms colonized by Zostera marina. During summer, adults live near the shore on rocky areas. In winter, they are spotted on rocky bottoms and heterogeneous coarse sediments in deep waters. Both juveniles and adults during summer are found on muddy sands with few rocks (Ref. 115714). Uses slow, small-scale, non-directional movements. Exhibiting ontogenetic movements, juveniles live at depth of 5 to 15 m; adults then migrate to deeper waters (>50 m), where they mate (Ref. 115713). Diet remains to be accurately described. Studies (i.e. direct field observations, laboratory experiments, and gut content analyses) have suggested the species to have an omnivorous diet based on consumption of prey commonly found in their habitat (Ref. 115714). In one study, however, it was considered a mobile carnivorous species (Ref. 96498). Research using stable isotopes indicate no differences between sexes in diet or habitat use patterns either in adults (Refs. 115714, 115744) or juveniles (Refs. 115713, 115714, 115744).
IUCN Red List Status: Not Evaluated (N.E.) Ref. 123251)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   

Entered by: Sorongon-Yap, Patricia - 04.07.14
Modified by: Polido, Rubyann Robelle - 11.07.17

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