FAUNA and FUNGHI of MALTA
(www.MaltaFauna.com)
Pachygraspus marmoratus  (Fabricius, 1787)
Main synonym = Cancer marmoratus    Fabricius, 1787
Taxonomical Classification:  Animalia / Arthropoda / Crustacea / Decapoda / Grapsidae
Marbled Shore Crab, Mediterranean Shore Crab     Granċ tax-xatt
Further Information:
P. marmoratus has a square carapace 22–36 millimetres long, which is dark violet brown with yellow-green marbling in yellow. It can be distinguished from related species of Pachygrapsus in the Mediterranean Sea (P. maurus and P. transversus which are recentely reported also in Malta) by the presence of three teeth on each side of the carapace. It is capable of very rapid movements, and it uses this ability to dart into crevices, making it difficult to catch

It is widespread in the Mediterranean Sea and along the Atlantic coasts of Portugal, Spain and France. It was observed as early as 1996 as far north as Southampton in the English Channel. This range expansion may be due to the warming of the surface waters

P. marmoratus is an omnivore, consuming similar proportions of algae and marine animals, even if both are available in abundance. The favoured animals in the diet of P. marmoratus are mussels, limpets and its own species. When attacking the limpet Patella depressa, Pachygrapsus marmoratus uses a consistent method, which is usually unsuccessful. On more sheltered shores, it eats fewer mussels, but compensates with a greater consumption of barnacles.






















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