Maltese freshwater crab photo and description, message about the crustacean

Maltese freshwater crab (lat. Potamon fluviatile) belongs to the genus Potamon. Class crustacean arthropod, infraorder decapod. This variety is distinguished by the ability of self-healing limbs if during a fight the crab loses a leg, then after a while it grows back.


The life expectancy of the Maltese freshwater crab is average from 9 to 12 years.


  • do not undergo molting during wintering;
  • mating takes from half an hour to 20-21 hours;
  • the larval stage occurs inside the egg, so they give birth to crabs with the appearance of an adult;
  • young growth lives under stones, and adults in holes;
  • the entrance to the shelter must be located on land;
  • burrow length from 50 to 80 cm;
  • height above the water level about 4-5 m.
  • In the nutrition, the “Maltese” are not picky, therefore absolutely everything absorbs algae, tadpoles, frogs, worms, snails, insect larvae, invertebrates. But birds, ferrets, foxes and rats prey on them.

    Since the Maltese crab has many enemies, its character is bad. At the sight of the enemy, increased aggression is manifested the crab begins to attack the opponent with its right claw. Right handed because they are right handed.


    The main differences between the cabru (as the Maltese call it) are the colors. The main tone is gray-green, but there are spots of a rare orange-yellow shade along the shell. Legs covered in purple.
    Other external data:

  • carapace 3-5 cm in length (the female is shorter), but there are individuals and 8 cm;
  • the shape is almost square;
  • the abdomen is so small that it hides under the cephalothorax;
  • the number of legs is 10, 2 of them are claws, the rest are walking.
  • Structure

    The Maltese freshwater crab has the following structure:

  • the body is a small head, a wide cephalothorax, stalked eyes;
  • the abdomen is shortened, in the longitudinal direction it is bent under the sternum;
  • the shell is multi-layered and hard;
  • the inner level is soft chitinous (organic) substances.
  • The “Maltese” is designed in such a way that after molting, the shell is restored for too long for this, the shell must absorb a lot of calcareous compounds. During this period, the vulnerability of the arthropod is increased. Apparently, therefore, this species is easily disguised as any texture and shade of the bottom / land.

    Where do they live

    Based on the name, the Maltese crab prefers fresh water, so the usual habitat is rivers, lakes, streams, reservoirs. Likes flowing waters the most. It was first discovered in the bays of the Mediterranean Sea, but today it is distributed almost all over the world. On the territory of Eurasia, it is most often found on the coast of the Azov and Black Seas, in the Baltic.


    Maltese freshwater crabs are very different from their relatives in terms of the onset of puberty. For a male, this is almost 10 years of life, for a female, 8 years. That is why the species is gradually approaching the critical point of extinction (often in nature they do not live up to 10 years due to the extensive catch of crabs by humans).
    If not for one fact, then the “Maltese” would no longer exist. The fact is that one female is capable of producing up to 40,000 eggs, which is considered a relatively huge number.
    After mating, the female lays eggs, and carries them on her abdominal legs until the crabs are born. Babies hatch outwardly similar to adults. Maltese freshwater crabs rarely swim into the thick of the sea, as they cannot tolerate salty habitats. However, they are sometimes found there, especially during molting to strengthen the shell shell.

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