Box crab (calappa granulata)
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Common name Box crab
Scientific name Calappa granulata
Class Crustacean
Order Decapoda
Family Calappidae
Distribution The Mediterranean and the Eastern Atlantic Ocean from Portugal to Mauritius.
Habitat sandy , sand and mud or detrital substrates from depths of 15 - 20 metres up to 400 m.
Dimensions Can reach a width of 11 cm.
Characteristicts A very convex shell with ragged borders; the claws are well-developed and the tubercles are red.

The shell is very convex and narrower towards the front. The edges are initially ragged while the rear part has well-developed teeth which the crab uses to retract its thoracic appendages. The enormous claws are flat on the inside and have tubercles and a toothed crest on the outer side. The top of the shell is characterized by longitudinal cleavages and tubercles and is yellowish in colour with a mottled red pattern on its carapace and claws.

The box crab is also known as the bashful or shamefaced crab because when he wraps his claws around his body for protection it appears that he is hiding or being bashful. Egg laying females have been spotted between June and September. The crab feeds mainly on molluscs and larger specimens appear to protect their young under their claws.