The Golden King Crab (Lithodes longispina) is a marine (saltwater) crustacean in the Lithodoidea family of crabs. However, many scientists think it should be classified in the Paguroidea superfamily of hermit crabs. It is a decapod because it has 10 limbs.
The Golden King Crab has five pairs of spiny limbs – 10 limbs. The front pair of legs has claws, or nippers. Its rounded-triangular exoskeleton shell (carapace) is pale orange with spines.
It is found in oceans around the world, but mainly in cold waters, not tropical waters. It can live in shallow or deep waters.
It eats worms, clams, mussels, snails, sea stars, urchins, and algae.
The female lays 10,000-30,000 eggs, which hatch into larvae. The larvae drift with the current and most are eaten. The surviving larvae settle on the bottom of the ocean where they grow. They molt (shed their shells) as they grow.
Location of photographs: National Museum of Natural History, Paris, France
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM