Velvet crab

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Velvet crab
Necora puber.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Crustacea
Class: Malacostraca
Order: Decapoda
Infraorder: Brachyura
Family: Portunidae
Genus: Necora
Holthuis, 1987
Species: N. puber
Binomial name
Necora puber
(Linnaeus, 1767)
  • Cancer puber Linnaeus, 1767
  • Liocarcinus puber (Linnaeus, 1767)
  • Macropipus puber (Linnaeus, 1767)
  • Portunus puber (Linnaeus, 1767)
  • Cancer velutinus Pennant, 1777

The velvet crab (alternatively velvet swimming crab, devil crab or lady crab), Necora puber, is a species of crab. It is the largest swimming crab (family Portunidae) found in British coastal waters, with a carapace width of up to 100 millimetres (3.9 in), and the only species in the genus Necora.[1] The body is coated with short hairs, giving the animal a velvety texture, hence the common name. It is one of the major crab species for United Kingdom fisheries, in spite of its relatively small size.

The velvet crab lives from southern Norway to Western Sahara in the North Sea and north Atlantic as well as western parts of the Mediterranean Sea, on rocky bottoms from the shoreline to a depth of about 65 metres (213 ft). The last pair of pereiopods are flattened to facilitate swimming.


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