Bryer's nut crab (Ebalia tumefacta)

Distribution data supplied by the Ocean Biodiversity Information System (OBIS). To interrogate UK data visit the NBN Atlas.Map Help



Carapace slightly broader than long (up to 13 mm across and 12 mm long) and octagonal in shape. Variable in colour, ranging from reddish, yellowish-grey, variegated brown, banded pink or orange, often with red spots. The surface of the carapace and limbs is minutely granular. Lateral (branchial) regions of the carapace are conspicuously swollen. The arms bearing the claws (chelipeds) are equal in length.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

A southern species found on the south and west coasts of England and recorded at a few locations in south-west Scotland.

Global distribution

Recorded from south Norway to north-west Africa but absent from the Mediterranean.


Found on muddy sand, gravel or stones. Shallow sublittoral to about 15 m.

Depth range


Identifying features

  • Chelipeds have long and slender dactyls.
  • Antero-lateral margin forms an almost straight line.
  • Propodus of chelipeds swollen, longer in males.

Additional information

No text entered

Listed by

- none -


  1. Crothers, J. & Crothers, M., 1988. A key to the crabs and crab-like animals of British inshore waters. Somerset, England: Field Studies Council. [AIDGAP guide, no. 155.]

  2. Hayward, P., Nelson-Smith, T. & Shields, C. 1996. Collins pocket guide. Sea shore of Britain and northern Europe. London: HarperCollins.

  3. Hayward, P.J. & Ryland, J.S. (ed.) 1995b. Handbook of the marine fauna of North-West Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  4. Hiscock, K., Southward, A., Tittley, I., Jory, A. & Hawkins, S., 2001. The impact of climate change on subtidal and intertidal benthic species in Scotland. Scottish National Heritage Research, Survey and Monitoring Report , no. 182., Edinburgh: Scottish National Heritage

  5. Howson, C.M. & Picton, B.E., 1997. The species directory of the marine fauna and flora of the British Isles and surrounding seas. Belfast: Ulster Museum. [Ulster Museum publication, no. 276.]


  1. Isle of Wight Local Records Centre, 2017. IOW Natural History & Archaeological Society Marine Invertebrate Records 1853- 2011. Occurrence dataset: accessed via on 2018-09-27.

  2. NBN (National Biodiversity Network) Atlas. Available from:

  3. OBIS (Ocean Biodiversity Information System),  2024. Global map of species distribution using gridded data. Available from: Ocean Biogeographic Information System. Accessed: 2024-07-14


This review can be cited as:

Skewes, M. 2005. Ebalia tumefacta Bryer's nut crab. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 14-07-2024]. Available from:

Last Updated: 23/05/2005