Thumbnail crab

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Thumbnail crab
Thia scutellata.jpg
Scientific classification

Dana, 1852

Leach, 1815
T. scutellata
Binomial name
Thia scutellata
Synonyms   [1]
  • Cancer residuusHerbst, 1799
  • Thia politaLeach, 1815
  • Thia blainvilliiRisso, 1822

The thumbnail crab, Thia scutellata, is a species of crab whose carapace resembles a human thumbnail. It is found in the North Sea, north-east Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea. [2] It is the only extant species in the genus Thia, although two fossil species are known. [3]

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Portunus is a genus of crab which includes several important species for fisheries, such as the blue swimming crab, Portunus pelagicus and the Gazami crab, P. trituberculatus. Other species, such as the three-spotted crab (P. sanguinolentus) are caught as bycatch.

<i>Maja</i> (genus)

Maja is a genus of majid crabs erected by Jean-Baptiste Lamarck in 1801. It includes the following extant species:


Cancridae is a family of crabs. It comprises six extant genera, and eleven exclusively fossil genera, in two subfamilies:


Xanthoidea is a superfamily of crabs, comprising the three families Xanthidae, Panopeidae and Pseudorhombilidae. Formerly, a number of other families were included in Xanthoidea, but many of these have since been removed to other superfamilies. These include Carpilioidea, Eriphioidea, Hexapodoidea, Pilumnoidea and Trapezioidea. Even in this reduced state, Xanthoidea remains one of the most species-rich superfamilies of crabs.


Retroplumidae is a family of heterotrematan crabs, placed in their own (monotypic) superfamily, Retroplumoidea.

<i>Liocarcinus marmoreus</i>

Liocarcinus marmoreus, sometimes known as the marbled swimming crab, is a species of crab found in the northern Atlantic Ocean and North Sea. It may be found on sand and gravel in the sublittoral and lower littoral zones, down to a depth of 84 metres (276 ft), from the Azores and the Alboran Sea as far north as the Shetland Islands. It reaches a carapace length of 35 millimetres (1.4 in), and is distinguished from other similar species by the presence of three similarly-sized teeth on the edge of the carapace, between the eyes, and by the marbled colouration on the carapace. L. marmoreus is sometimes parasitised by the barnacle Sacculina.

Homolodromiidae is a family of crabs, the only family in the superfamily Homolodromioidea. In contrast to other crabs, including the closely related Homolidae, there is no strong linea homolica along which the exoskeleton breaks open during ecdysis. The family comprises two genera, Dicranodromia, which has 18 species, and Homolodromia, with five species.


Cheiragonidae is a small family of crabs, sometimes called helmet crabs, placed in its own superfamily, Cheriagonoidea. It comprises three extant species, Erimacrus isenbeckii, Telmessus acutidens and Telmessus cheiragonus, there are no yet evidences of Cheiragonidae in the fossil record. Many of these crabs were formerly treated as members of the Atelecyclidae.


Matutidae is a family of crabs, sometimes called moon crabs, adapted for swimming or digging. They differ from the swimming crabs of the family Portunidae in that all five pairs of legs are flattened, rather than just the last pair, as in Portunidae. Crabs in the Matutidae are aggressive predators.

Palicoidea is a superfamily of crabs, comprising the two families Crossotonotidae and Palicidae. Together, they contain 13 genera, including two genera in the Palicidae known only from fossils. The two families were previously treated as two subfamilies in a Palicidae of wider circumscription.

<i>Planes</i> (genus)

Planes is a genus of crabs in the family Grapsidae that currently comprises three extant species: Planes minutus, Planes marinus Rathbun, 1914, and Planes major (=cyaneus). A further fossil species is known from the Middle Miocene of the Caucasus.


Metopograpsus is a genus of crabs, containing the following extant species:

<i>Panopeus</i> (genus)

Panopeus is a genus of crabs, containing these extant species:


Xantho is a genus of crabs in the family Xanthidae, containing five extant species, all restricted to the north-east Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea, although Xantho granulicarpis is not universally recognised as a separate species from Xantho hydrophilus:

Polydectus cupulifer is a species of crab in the family Xanthidae, and the only species in the genus Polydectus. Together with the genus Lybia, it forms the subfamily Polydectinae. It is found in the Indo-Pacific, ranging from Madagascar and the Red Sea in the west to Japan, Hawaii and French Polynesia in the east. P. cupulifer is densely covered with setae (bristles), and frequently carries a sea anemone in each chela (claw).


Paraxanthias is a genus of crabs in the family Xanthidae, containing one exclusively fossil species and the following extant species:

<i>Xanthias</i> (genus)

Xanthias is a genus of crabs in the family Xanthidae, containing two exclusively fossil species and the following extant species:

Xanthodius is a genus of crabs in the family Xanthidae, containing one exclusively fossil species and the following extant species:

<i>Zosimus</i> (genus)

Zosimus is a genus of crabs in the family Xanthidae, containing the following species:

Crabs of the British Isles

Around 65 species of crab occur in the waters of the British Isles. All are marine, with the exception of the introduced Chinese mitten crab, Eriocheir sinensis, which occurs in fresh and brackish water. They range in size from the deep-water species Paromola cuvieri, which can reach a claw span of 1.2 metres, to the pea crab, which is only 4 mm (0.16 in) wide and lives inside mussel shells.


  1. Peter K. L. Ng; Danièle Guinot & Peter J. F. Davie (2008). "Systema Brachyurorum: Part I. An annotated checklist of extant Brachyuran crabs of the world" (PDF). Raffles Bulletin of Zoology . 17: 1–286.
  2. Cédric d'Udekem d'Acoz (2003). "Thia scutellata (J.C. Fabricius, 1793)". Crustikon. Tromsø Museum. Archived from the original on February 19, 2008. Retrieved November 19, 2006.
  3. Sammy De Grave; N. Dean Pentcheff; Shane T. Ahyong; et al. (2009). "A classification of living and fossil genera of decapod crustaceans" (PDF). Raffles Bulletin of Zoology . Suppl. 21: 1–109.