Edible Crab Cancer Pagurus
With its brownish oval pie-crust body, the edible crab is easily recognisable as it scuttles about, though it is best glimpsed at under water.
Conservation status in Norfolk
How to help
The marine environment is under pressure and by supporting campaigns (such as the Wildlife Trust Living Seas campaign) we can help the edible crab and other marine invertebrates.
Information on the Edible Crab
How to recognise
The edible crab can grow up to 30cm across and is the largest crab to occur on the Norfolk coast. Its oval 'pie crust' body which has 8 pointed segmented legs and two powerful claws, is dark brown on top and pale underneath. The legs and claws can be tucked in when it is scared or it may lock itself into crevices and holes with the elbows of its clawed forelegs.
Where to see
The best place to find live edible crabs is underwater; they are often too large to remain in rock pools. Edible crab shells are often washed up on beaches; these may be dead animals or the outer carapace which is shed to allow the crab to grow. The small crabs which appear around piers and sea defences are often shore or harbour crabs but edible crabs may appear in these places. Divers and snorkelers can expect to see these crabs at all depths.
When to see
They can be seen all year round.
Did you know?
Crabs have a rigid outer shell for protection and cannot increase in size without shedding this and expanding a replacement they have grown inside it. This new shell is soft for a short time during which it expands before hardening larger than the previous one to allow space for the crab to grow inside
There are no questions regarding this species, perhaps you should ask us one?