Tidal Spray Crab – Plagusia depressa

Tidal Spray Crab Plagusia depressa Scuba diving canary islands crustacea species atlantic ocean
Tidal Spray Crab – Plagusia depressa
A rare species that can be found in splash and tidal water zones.

The Tidal Spray Crab is a species in the order of the Decapoda and thus belongs to the subphylum of crustaceans. Plagusia depressa was first described by Fabricius in 1775.

According to a study from 2001*, the species is divided into two subspecies. The one in the Atlantic has the full name P. d. depressa, the relative from the Indo-Pacific has the scientific name P. d. squamosa.

Description, Anatomy & Characteristics

The Tidal Spray Crab has a flat, very colourful body. Their basic colouring is grey. However, red, orange, green and lighter colours can also be found on the body and legs.

As it belongs to the decapoda, it has 5 pairs of limbs, of which the front one is converted to scissors.

There is no information about the maximum size of the species, but the specimen in the photo above had a diameter of about 10cm.

Habitat and distribution

Plagusia depressa lives on rocky ground in the splash and tidal water zone.

When diving on the Canary Islands you can therefore only rarely observe them.

Their distribution area covers the tropical and subtropical zones of the Atlantic, both in the east and in the west. They can be found on the coasts of the USA, as far as Brazil and around the Azores and Madeira to Angola and Senegal.


Unfortunately, nothing more is known about the Biology of Plagusia depressa.

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