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Temporal range: Cenomanian–Recent
Macropodia rostrata.jpg
Macropodia rostrata (Inachidae)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Crustacea
Class: Malacostraca
Order: Decapoda
Infraorder: Brachyura
Section: Eubrachyura
Subsection: Heterotremata
Superfamily: Majoidea
Samouelle, 1819

The Majoidea are a superfamily of crabs which includes the various spider crabs.


It comprises five or six families:[1]

The families "Pisidae" and "Tychidae" are now treated as the subfamilies Pisinae and Tychinae of the family Epialtidae, and "Mithracidae" is now treated as the subfamily Mithracinae of the family Majidae.[1]

Classification according to WoRMS :

Notable species within the superfamily include:

  • Japanese spider crab (Macrocheira kaempferi), the largest living species of crab, found on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.
  • Libinia emarginata, the portly spider crab, a species of crab found in estuarine habitats on the east coast of North America.
  • Hyas, a genus of spider crabs, including the great spider crab (Hyas araneus), found in the Atlantic and the North Sea.
  • Maja squinado, sometimes called the "European long leg crab or pie faced crab" because of the way its face is shaped.
  • Australian majid spider crab, found off Tasmania, are known to pile up on each other, the faster-moving crabs clambering over the smaller, slower ones.[3]

There is one fossil family, Priscinachidae, represented by a single species, Priscinachus elongatus, from the Cenomanian of France.[4]


  1. ^ a b 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. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-06-06. 
  2. ^ Danièle Guinot (2011). "The position of the Hymenosomatidae MacLeay, 1838, within the Brachyura (Crustacea, Decapoda)" (PDF excerpt). Zootaxa. 2890: 40–52. 
  3. ^ Life. Extraordinary Animals, Extreme Behaviour by BBC Books, Martha Holmes & Michael Gunton, 2009, ISBN 978 1846076428
  4. ^ Gérard Breton (2009). "Description of Priscinachus elongatus n. gen., n. sp., and Priscinachidae n. fam. for the earliest spider crab (Crustacea, Decapoda, Majoidea), from the French Cretaceous (Cenomanian)" (PDF). Geodiversitas. 31 (3): 509–523. doi:10.5252/g2009n3a2. [permanent dead link]

External links[edit]

  • Data related to Majoidea at Wikispecies