Maltese freshwater crab
|Maltese freshwater crab|
|Freshwater crab in a stream in Baħrija, Malta.|
P. f. lanfrancoi
|Potamon fluviatile lanfrancoi|
Capolongo & Cilia, 1990
The Maltese freshwater crab (known as the Qabru in Maltese) is a decapod (a crustacean with 10 legs). It can grow up to 80 millimetres (3 in) in width. It is greenish-grey with some occasional orange-yellow patches, and an overall purple hue on the legs.
The Maltese freshwater crab is found where fresh water / running water is present throughout the year although it does live near pools and springs too. It is found in Imtaħleb, Baħrija, Għajn Żejtuna in Mellieħa and San Martin in Malta and in Lunzjata Valley in Gozo.
When threatened, the crab takes shelter by hiding under rocks or stones in the water and among vegetation, or by entering the burrows it digs. These burrows are dug in mud or clay and can be more than 50 cm deep. Part of the burrow is normally flooded.
SCIBERRAS, A., SCIBERRAS, J. & VELLA, S. (2009) On the Occurrence of a New Population of Potamon Fluviatile Lanfrancoi at Wied Ghajn Zejtuna,Mellieħa. The Central Mediterranean Naturalist 5(1)24-27. Nature Trust Malta publications
SCIBERRAS, A. & SCIBERRAS, J. (2010) An Ecological Survey On The Valley Of Wied Għajn Żejtuna. Commissioned by Ghaqda tar-Residenti ta’ Santa Marija Estate. 42pgs