Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

 A very large crab with a circular, convex carapace which is bordered by strong tapering spines. It is red, brownish-red, or yellowish in colour and the body can grow up to 20 cm long and is often covered with attached algae.
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Source: Marine Life Information Network

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Distribution

abundant on west and south-west British coasts, less common in the North Sea.
  • Hayward, P.J.; Ryland, J.S. (Ed.) (1990). The marine fauna of the British Isles and North-West Europe: 1. Introduction and protozoans to arthropods. Clarendon Press: Oxford, UK. ISBN 0-19-857356-1. 627 pp.
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© WoRMS for SMEBD

Source: World Register of Marine Species

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Ecology

Habitat

Depth range based on 50 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 11 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0 - 113
  Temperature range (°C): 10.937 - 17.167
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.926 - 8.497
  Salinity (PPS): 35.157 - 37.537
  Oxygen (ml/l): 5.289 - 6.192
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.112 - 0.545
  Silicate (umol/l): 2.451 - 3.285

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 0 - 113

Temperature range (°C): 10.937 - 17.167

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.926 - 8.497

Salinity (PPS): 35.157 - 37.537

Oxygen (ml/l): 5.289 - 6.192

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.112 - 0.545

Silicate (umol/l): 2.451 - 3.285
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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 Found on coarse sand mixed grounds and bedrock on the open coast. Also found in deep tide pools and shallow sublittoral to 50 m.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Maja squinado

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 7 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.

Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.

See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

TTATATTTTATATTCGGAGCATGAGCAGGAATGGCCGGAACATCTTTA---AGGTTAATTATTCGAGCTGAATTAGGTCAACCAGGAACTTTGATTGGTAAT---GATCAGATTTACAATGTGGTAGTTACTGCACACGCCTTCGTTATAATCTTCTTCATAGTCATACCCATTATAATTGGAGGGTTTGGAAACTGACTAGTTCCTCTTATG---TTAGGGGCCCCTGATATAGCTTTTCCTCGTATAAACAATATAAGATTTTGACTTCTTCCCCCCTCTCTTACTCTTCTTCTAATAAGAGGTTTAGTAGAAAGAGGAGTAGGTACAGGCTGAACTGTTTATCCTCCTCTAGCTGCAGCCATTGCGCACGCAGGGGCTTCAGTTGATATAGGT---ATTTTCTCACTTCATTTAGCGGGAGTATCTTCGATTTTAGGAGCCGTTAATTTTATAACTACCGTAATTAACATACGTTCTTATGGTATGACCATAGACCAAATACCTTTATTTGTCTGATCCGTATTTATTACAGCAATTTTATTACTACTTTCTCTTCCGGTTCTTGCCGGA---GCAATTACTATACTTTTAACAGACCGAAATCTAAACACCTCTTTCTTTGATCCAGCTGGTGGGGGAGACCCAATCCTATACCAACACTTA
-- end --

Download FASTA File

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© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Maja squinado

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 28
Specimens with Barcodes: 30
Species With Barcodes: 1
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© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Wikipedia

Maja squinado

Maja squinado (the European spider crab, spiny spider crab or spinous spider crab) is a species of migratory crab found in the north-east Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea.[1]

Diet[edit]

M. squinado feeds on a great variety of organisms, with seaweeds and molluscs dominating in winter, and echinoderms such as sea urchins and sea cucumbers in summer.[2]

Behaviour[edit]

Migrations generally take place in autumn,[3] with some crabs covering over 100 miles (160 km) in eight months.[4] All crabs are vulnerable to predation when moulting, and M. squinado becomes gregarious around that time, presumably for defense against predators.[5] Females can produce up to four broods per year.[6]

Fishery[edit]

M. squinado is the subject of commercial fishery, with over 5,000 tonnes caught annually, more than 70% of it off the coast of France, over 10% off the coast of the United Kingdom, 6% from the Channel Islands, 3% from each of Spain and Ireland, 2% from Croatia, 1% from Portugal, and the remainder coming from Montenegro, Denmark and Morocco,[7] although official production figures are open to doubt.[1] The European Union imposes a minimum landing size of 120 mm for M. squinado,[8] and some individual countries have other regulations, such as a ban on landing egg-bearing females in Spain and a closed season in France and the Channel Islands.[1]

Taxonomy[edit]

A spiny spider crab swimming in a marine reserve in the Balearic Islands

A review of the species complex around M. squinado was able to differentiate between specimens from the Mediterranean Sea and those from the Atlantic, and concluded that the Atlantic specimens were a separate species, called Maja brachydactyla Balss, 1922.[9] The specific epithet squinado derives from the Provençal name for the species – squinado, esquinade, esquinado or esquinadoun — recorded by Rondelet as early as 1554.[4]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The genus Maja is sometimes spelled Maia.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Carl Meyer. "Maja squinado, the European Spider Crab: Biology and Fishery". University of Hawaii. Retrieved October 4, 2010. 
  2. ^ Bernardez, C., J. Freire & E. Gonzalez–Gurriaran, (2000). "Feeding of the spider crab Maja squinado in rocky subtidal areas of the Ria de Arousa (north-west Spain)". Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 80 (1): 95–102. doi:10.1017/S0025315499001605. 
  3. ^ E. Gonzalez–Gurriaran, J. Freire & C. Bernardez (2002). "Migratory patterns of female spider crabs Maja squinado detected using electronic tags and telemetry". Journal of Crustacean Biology 22 (1): 91–97. doi:10.1651/0278-0372(2002)022[0091:MPOFSC]2.0.CO;2. 
  4. ^ a b Le Foll, D. (November 1, 1993). "Biology and fisheries of the spider crab Maja squinado (Herbst) in western English Channel" (in French). Ph.D. thesis, Université de Bretagne Occidentale. 
  5. ^ Sampedro, M. P. & E. Gonzalez–Gurriaran (2004). "Aggregating behaviour of the spider crab Maja squinado in shallow waters". Journal of Crustacean Biology 24 (1): 168–177. doi:10.1651/C-2404. 
  6. ^ L. Garcia–Florez & P. Fernandez–Rueda (2000). "Reproductive biology of spider crab females (Maja brachydactyla) off the coast of Asturias (north-west Spain)". Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 80 (6): 1071–1076. doi:10.1017/S0025315400003131. 
  7. ^ "Global Capture Production 1950–2004". Food and Agriculture Organization. September 9, 2006. 
  8. ^ "Council Regulation (EEC) No 3094/86". Official Journal of the European Economic Community. October 7, 1986. 
  9. ^ Neumann, V. (1998). "A review of the Maja squinado (Crustacea : Decapoda : Brachyura) species-complex with a key to the eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean species of the genus". Journal of Natural History 32 (10–11): 1667–1684. doi:10.1080/00222939800771191. 
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