Velvet Swimming Crab (Necora puber)

© 2000 by Image Quest 3-D
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Photograph by Valdimar Butterworth

(PHYLUM: Arthropoda, SUBPHYLUM: Crustacea, CLASS: Malacostraca, ORDER: Decapoda , FAMILY: Portunidae)

 

The Velvet Fiddler crab, or devil crab, Portunus puber, is a member of the family Portunidae. It is found throughout all of the British and Irish coasts, occurring commonly in many of these coasts. It is a fast moving, swimming crab with red eyes and a bluish colour. As an adult, the crabs have a velvet textured dorsal carapace surface and are commonly around 8cm in length. The crabs have up to ten narrow teeth along their frontal margin, two of which are clearly visible in this image. The fifth pair of legs are flattened into paddles for swimming. They feed on other small invertebrates such as this Yarrells Blenny, Chirolophis ascanii. These blennys can grow up to 25cm in length and occur along northern European coasts and the British Isles.

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2001 by Image Quest 3-D
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