Broad clawed porcelain crab

The broad-clawed porcelain crab is a charismatic little rock poolers favourite. It is the most common species of porcelain crab found in the UK and can often be found clinging tightly to the underside of rocks below mid tide level.
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Small (up to 15mm long), flattened with large wide claws. Claws and body quite hairy. Upperside brown in colour, underside more pale. Like all false crabs it has long antennae and only three pair of walking legs.


The species name is Porcellana platycheles

Kingdom: Animalia – ‘animals’, Phylum: Arthropoda – ‘arthropods’, Subphylum:  Crustacea – ‘crustaceans’, Order: Decapoda – ‘crayfish, crabs, lobsters, prawns, and shrimp’, Infraorder: Anomura – ‘false crabs’, Family: Porcellanidae – porcelain crabs


Under rocks and boulder in the mid and low shore. Particularly found of muddy environments.


Primarily a filter feeder, using it’s fan-like mouthparts to remove tiny bits of food from the water. It may also sometimes feed directly from the sea floor.

Rock Pool Project:

This species has been found regularly at our events and is the 20th most recorded species on of the 120 discovered by our project to date. Being a member of the false crabs group it is included in our false crab biodiversity surveys and we therefore have both presence and absence records for the species from various sites.

Map of records:

Here are the sites at which we have discovered this species:

Table of Contents

Rock Pool Project discoveries for this species: