17 Velvet Crab Facts You’ll Never Forget

Velvet crab facts about the velvet swimming crab species.

The velvet crab is also known as the velvet swimming crab, devil crab, fighter crab, and lady crab. The velvet swimming crab's scientific name is Necora puber. The term given to the swimming crab family is known as Portunidae. They are saltwater crabs that are found in the oceans. They are sometimes found walking on the sands on the seashores. These species were once considered pest species due to their abundant and quick-growing populations. Their numbers are well distributed but a decline in their population trend has been observed for a few years now. The velvet crab species fall prey to pot fisheries conducted by the pot fishermen.

Here are some more interesting facts about the velvet swimming crab for your perusal. Afterward, do check out our other animal fact files on the hermit crab and king crab as well.

Velvet Crab

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Small fishes, Clams, Shrimps, Snails, Worms

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

Up to 278,000 eggs

How much do they weigh?

2-3 lb (0.9-1.3 kg)

How long are they?

3.1-3.5 in (7.8-8.9 cm)

How tall are they?

Up to 3.9 in (10 cm) (carapace width)

What do they look like?

Olive-Green, Brown, Blue

Skin Type

Hard Shell

What are their main threats?

Habitat Loss, Predators

What is their conservation status?

Not Listed

Where you'll find them

Ocean waters


Southern Norway, Western Sahara, North Sea, North Atlantic, Mediterranean Sea





Scientific Name

Necora puber





Velvet Crab Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a velvet crab?

A velvet crab (Necora puber) is a brown crab. The devil crab is a saltwater species that feeds on a carnivorous diet.

What class of animal does a velvet crab belong to?

The velvet crab (Necora puber) belongs to the Malacostraca class of animals. Contrary to popular belief, the velvet crab is not a rare species and can be commonly found in its habitat.

How many velvet crabs are there in the world?

The total population of velvet crabs (Necora puber), in the world, is unknown. It is assumed that the population of the swimming crab species is stable across the range of habitats.

Where does a velvet crab live?

A devil crab lives in the ocean waters. These brown crab species are found in the shallow and bottom parts of the oceans.

What is a velvet crab's habitat?

The velvet swimming crab's habitat consists of salt waters such as oceans and seas. They are found up to depths of up to 213 ft (65 m). These velvet swimming crabs live on rocky bottoms of the ocean.

Who does the velvet crab live with?

Velvet crabs (Necora puber) live with species of their own kind. The lady crab can also found be with crabs from other species. This swimming crab species gets along well with marine animals.

How long does a velvet crab live?

The life expectancy of the devil crab has been estimated at around four or five years.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding season of velvet crabs (Necora puber) is from February to March. The females lay eggs at the beginning of May. The females of the velvet swimming crabs reach sexual maturity when they are bigger than 1.9 in (4.8 cm) and the males when they are bigger than 2.1 in (5.3 cm). The incubation period is 16-20 weeks for velvet swimming crabs. The females carry the eggs on their underside until they hatch.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of velvet crabs has not been listed by the IUCN. But as per the Marine Conservation Society, velvet crab fisheries are sustainable, hence this species does not face any crisis.

Velvet Crab Fun Facts

What does the velvet crab look like?

The swimming crab is known for its menacing and intimidating appearance.

Velvet crabs are olive-green to brown crabs. They have shells like regular crabs. They have small velvety hairs growing over their shell which give them a velvet appearance. The rearmost legs of these crabs are flattened. They have two huge claws. The tips of the claws of velvet swimming crabs are blue-colored. Velvet crabs have blue lines on their legs and claws. The eyes of this species are red.

How cute are they?

The devil crabs are not exactly cute in appearance and they have intimidating personalities.

How do they communicate?

Velvet crabs use a technique known as stridulating for communication. In this technique, the velvet Swimming crabs use their claws and legs and rub them on each other or any solid surface. This rubbing produces sounds which are their primary mode of communication.

How big is a velvet crab?

A velvet crab is a medium-sized crab that can grow up to 3.9 in (10 cm) in carapace width. Their length lies in the range of 3.1-3.5 in (7.8-8.9 cm). Some other crabs include the king crab, hermit crab, and decorator crab.

How fast can a velvet crab move?

A velvet swimming crab can move at a speed of up to 0.24 mph (0.39 kph). It is almost the same speed as any typical crab species.

How much does a velvet crab weigh?

A velvet crab's weight is around 2-3 lb (0.9-1.3 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

No specific names are assigned to the males and females of the velvet swimming crab species. Hence, they are known as males and females respectively.

What would you call a baby velvet crab?

A baby velvet swimming crab is called a zoea.

What do they eat?

The velvet swimming crab's eating habits include hunting on its prey. They are carnivorous species. They prey on small fishes, clams, shrimps, snails, worms, etc.

Are they poisonous?

Velvet crabs are great food. Their meat tastes very good, and they are not poisonous.

Would they make a good pet?

Velvet crabs are not usually kept as pets. They are a source of food for humans. Though the proper installation of an artificial environment similar to their habitat should keep them comfortable.

Did you know...

The yellow velvet crab species are a genetically modified version of the velvet crab species.

Can you eat a velvet crab?

Velvet crabs are completely edible. They are used for human consumption in many coastal regions. The lady crabs are particularly popular in Spanish cuisine.

Are velvet crabs rare?

No, velvet crabs are not rare. The lady crabs are found in abundant numbers on the shores of their range.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other animals from our slipper lobster facts and vampire squid facts pages.  

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable velvet crab coloring pages.



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