Lithodes maja

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Lithodes maja
Lithodes maja.jpg
Lithodes maja (on top of Hyas araneus)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Crustacea
Class: Malacostraca
Order: Decapoda
Family: Lithodidae
Genus: Lithodes
Species: L. maja
Binomial name
Lithodes maja
(Linnaeus, 1758[1]

Lithodes arctica Latreille, 1806 [1]

Lithodes maja is a species of king crab which occurs in the colder waters of Europe and North America. It is found along entire coast of Norway,[2] the northern half of the British Isles, and around the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Svalbard and off south-eastern Greenland.[1] In Canada, it is found from Newfoundland southwards.[3]

The carapace is almost circular and may reach a width of 13–14 centimetres (5.1–5.5 in).[2] The whole body is brown or orange and is covered with large spikes. It lives on both soft and hard bottoms, from a few metres below the surface to around 800 m depth.[1][2] Like most king crabs, females are asymmetrical, with the left side of the abdomen considerably larger than the right, although specimens with the reverse of this are occasionally found.[4]

The low rate of egg production by this species, in comparison to species fished in the North Pacific, limits its abundance, making it unsuitable for commercial exploitation.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d Cédric d'Udekem d'Acoz (2003). "Lithodes maja (Linnaeus, 1758)". Crustikon – crustacean photographic website. Tromsø MuseumUniversity of Tromsø. Archived from the original on February 19, 2008. Retrieved August 16, 2007. 
  2. ^ a b c K. Telnes. "Deepsea king crab". Retrieved August 16, 2007. 
  3. ^ "Stone crab, Lithodes maja". Canada's Species. McGill University. Retrieved August 16, 2007. 
  4. ^ S. D. Zaklan (2000). "A case of reversed asymmetry in Lithodes maja (Linnaeus, 1758) (Decapoda, Anomura, Lithodidae)". Crustaceana. 73 (8): 1019–1022. doi:10.1163/156854000504949. 
  5. ^ "Northern stone crab (Lithodes maja) exploratory fishing" (PDF). Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. 2000. 

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