Data is currently being sourced for Giant Spider Crab (Leptomithrax gaimardii) populations and may be incorporated into the Marine Biodiversity Index in the future.

Crabs can potentially be good indicators of environmental habitat quality and of water conditions. There have been regular Giant Spider Crab aggregations each winter, often in areas near Blairgowrie and Rye piers. Giant Spider Crabs are thought to move from deeper waters of Victoria’s Port Phillip Bay and coastal waters into shallow water less than five metres deep as a part of an annual migration or aggregation cycle.

Image of a Spider Crab facing striaght on to the camera

Photo credit: Mark Norman, Museums Victoria Copyright Museums Victoria / CC BY

Image of front page of the Deakin University report

Port Philip Bay Fund Report 2023, Deakin University

Deakin University is working to further improve the understanding of the ecology of the Giant spider crab, and to ascertain the broader conservation, social and cultural values of the species to the Victorian community. In 2022, Deakin University undertook an ecological and socio-economic assessment of the Giant spider crab in Port Phillip Bay.

The program comprised three main projects: a citizen science project, a spider crab ecology project and a spider crab socio-economic project (separate report). The first project aimed to harness citizen science to obtain information on spider crab aggregations and ecology; the second project utilised traditional science to collect data on spider crab aggregations and their ecological significance in situ; the third project estimated some of the economic values of the species and their annual aggregation. The report provides a summary of current knowledge and research being undertaken.

Page last updated: 17/04/24