Creature Feature: Hotlips Spider Crabs

We are fortunate to have two types of spider crab in our waters – the hotllips spider crab and Cape long-legged spider crabs.

The type we see the most in Gordon’s Bay is the hotlips spider crab.

The hotlips spider crab gets its name from its orange-red mouthparts. It can also be identified by the red spots on its nippers or pincers if they are not covered with “camouflage”! It is incredibly well camouflaged as it covers itself with sponges, hydroids, bryozoans and ascidians. They are easier to spot on sea fans where they tend to stand out a bit better!

Next time you’re out on a dive with us – particularly at The Flats (where we see lots), keep an eye out for them sitting on the sea fans!




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