Shore Crab Carcinus maenas

Probably the commonest crab in Britain, the Shore Crab is a medium-sized crab which lives amongst rocks and seaweed from mid shore down to beyond the low tide mark. It feeds on detritus and small animals. During the summer breeding season, a male will find a female and grab hold of her until she moults; at which point they are able to mate.


The commonest crab on our beaches, with pointed spines around the front of the ‘face’. Very variable in colour, often greenish, red or brown.


Width of body: 9cm




Found all around our coasts.

When to see

January – December


The Common Shore Crab has been introduced to many other parts of the world, including Australia, South Africa and California, where it has become an invasive pest.

Common name

Shore Crab

Species name

Carcinus maenas

When to see in Scotland

January – December

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