Warty Crab – Eriphia verrucosa
The Warty Crab, also known as the Yellow Crab, is a species in the order of the decapods and thus belongs to the subphylum of crustaceans. Eriphia verrucosa was first described by Forskål in 1775.
Description, Anatomy & Characteristics
The Warty Crab has a flat body. The basic colouration varies from green-brown to red-brown, whereby large parts are covered with yellow spots and dots. There are also violet and black shades. The colouring depends on growth, environmental factors and sexual maturity.
The scissors of different sizes are particularly striking. The scissor arms of Eriphia verrucosa are also covered with many warts.
The maximum size of the species is 9cm.
Habitat & Distribution
The Warty Crab lives in crevices and under rocks in depths down to 15m. Younger animals usually do not live deeper than 2m.
When scuba diving on the Canary Islands you can only rarely observe them.
Its general distribution range includes the Black Sea, the Mediterranean Sea and the eastern Atlantic Ocean from Brittany to Mauritania. Furthermore one finds Eriphia verrucosa on the Azores.
Biology & Feeding
The diet of the Warty Crab consists of mussels, molluscs (e.g. snails), bristle worms and other crustaceans. It should be mentioned that the size of the scissors has an influence on the prey. With increasing size, they can hunt other prey animals.
Eriphia verrucosa is active at dawn and at night. Even if they go on a raid, they always stay close to their construction. If they have made prey, it is usually only brought to the construction before consumption.