Spider crabs

Hyas spp.

The most common crabs in Iceland are the lesser spider crab (Hyas coarctatus) and the great spider crab (Hyas araneus). They are very similar in appearance, but the larger one will be much larger as the name suggests (most, if not all of the photos here are of the great one). However, there is a certain problem that the big one is of course small when he is young and then it is very difficult to distinguish between them.

Both are common all around Iceland. The lesser one can be found anywhere from the seashore to a depth of hundreds of meters, but the distribution of the great one is limited to shallow waters.

Fisheries for the spider crab are very limited. The problem is that the most valuable part crabs are the meat in the legs and claws but unfortunately the spider crab has very thin legs and claws with very little meat. It is therefore off low value.


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