Rare crab found off northern Norway – Fishupdate.com

Rare crab found off northern Norway Published:  13 June, 2013

NORWEGIAN fishermen have found a rare langkløret mini crab which was pulled recently from the deep outer fjord at Sandefjord.

The crab is so unusual in Norwegian waters that it has not received an official Norwegian name. But observers believed that as the seas warm it could be moving further north into colder seas. The Germans, however, have a name for it –  “Quadratkrabbe”  while in Britain it goes under the name of  “angular crab.” Both titles are linked to the  almost rectangular shell, but perhaps equally characteristic is the disproportionately long claws of the otherwise small male crabs.

The hitherto unknown crabs were fished out from a depth of 65 metres by Bent Johannesen who sent them to the Norwegian Institute for Marine Research  where it was recognised as a male crab of the species  Goneplax rhomboids.

These adult males can develop claws that are four or five times as long as the back shell. The Institute says that since there are only male crabs they have amazing clutches.

The Goneplax rhomboid is a southern species, usually found in the Mediterranean, around parts of the  British Isles and  as far south as  Africa where they most common.

Up to now these small crabs  have been  historically been a very rare guests in the North Sea (there is just one discovery  from the English sector of the  North Sea coast which was in the early 1960s). More recently German marine researchers have found these creatures.

In the  spring  of 2008, a specimen of the species was found in the stomach of a cod trawl hauls in the west coast of Sweden. The Norwegian Institute  of Marine Research says that Bent Johannesen’s find is unlikely to be the last in Norwegian waters