Spider crab (Macropodia deflexa)

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



The carapace of Macropodia deflexa is shorter than in other species of Macropodia. It may grow up to 3 cm in length and is covered in smaller, more numerous tubercles than other Macropodia. The rostrum arches downwards and is approximately as long as the antennal peduncle. The basal segment of the antenna generally always bears teeth. A small lump can sometimes be found on the anterior margin of the crabs eyestalk.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Macropodia deflexa is found on the south and west coast of the British Isles

Global distribution



Macropodia deflexa are commonly found on mixed sandy substratum in the shallow sublittoral or offshore amongst seaweeds or hydroids.

Depth range


Identifying features

  • Rostrum arched downwards
  • Basal segement of antenna most likely bears teeth
  • May be a small lump on anterior margin of eyestalks

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. 1994. The marine fauna of the British Isles and north-west Europe. Volume 1. Introduction and Protozoans to Arthropods. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

  4. 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.]

  5. JNCC (Joint Nature Conservation Committee), 1999. Marine Environment Resource Mapping And Information Database (MERMAID): Marine Nature Conservation Review Survey Database. [on-line] http://www.jncc.gov.uk/mermaid


  1. Fenwick, 2018. Aphotomarine. Occurrence dataset http://www.aphotomarine.com/index.html Accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-10-01

  2. NBN (National Biodiversity Network) Atlas. Available from: https://www.nbnatlas.org.

  3. OBIS (Ocean Biodiversity Information System),  2024. Global map of species distribution using gridded data. Available from: Ocean Biogeographic Information System. www.iobis.org. Accessed: 2024-04-25


This review can be cited as:

Heard, J.R. 2005. Macropodia deflexa Spider 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 25-04-2024]. Available from: https://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/2108

Last Updated: 14/02/2005