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Talrijk aanspoelen van de grote spinkrab Maja squinado (Herbst, 1788) aan de Belgische Westkust
Vanhaelen, M.-Th.; Jonckheere, I.; Severijns, N. (1996). Talrijk aanspoelen van de grote spinkrab Maja squinado (Herbst, 1788) aan de Belgische Westkust. De Strandvlo 16(2): 52-59
In: De Strandvlo: Driemaandelijks Tijdschrift van De Strandwerkgroep België. De Strandwerkgroep België: Ursel. ISSN 0773-3542, more

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  • Vanhaelen, M.-Th.
  • Jonckheere, I., more
  • Severijns, N., more

    In the period from December 27, 1995 until January 20, 1996, 107 carapaxes, one complete animal and one fragment of the common spider crab Maja squinado (Herbst, 1788) were collected on the western beaches of the coast of Belgium. The length of the carapaxes varies from 1.5 cm to 3.8 cm. The majority of them was partially covered with pieces of Enteromorpha spec. Three carapaxes were very thin and had clearly belonged to animals that had moulted shortly before. Probably, all material was originally washed ashore during the spring tide of December 25. Supposedly all these animals belonged to a small population that was living in very undeap water, where they died from the frosty weather. After the heavy winter storms around February 20, 1996 no common spider crabs were reported anymore. This could indicate that this population was exterminated completely by the wintery weather. It is not known whether other populations would still be present in the Belgian coastal waters. Although Mala squinado is commonly caught by fishery in the region of Wissant (which is only about 70 km south of the Belgian-French border), and although common spider crabs have occasionally also been reported by fishing boats in the Belgian coastal waters, the finds that are reported here are, as far as is known, the first finds of this crab on the Belgian beaches. The presence of Mala squinado in the Belgian coastal waters is related to the past sequence of very wann summers and soft winters and the clearly higher temperature of the water of the North Sea that goes with this. In this respect it is to be noted that in the past two to three years also other species that use to live more southward, like Epitonium clathrus, Nassarius reticulates and Crassostrea gigas, are regularly found alive on the Belgian beaches and breakwaters.

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