The biggest crab ever seen in Britain arrives at Birmingham’s National Sea Life centre today

A Japanese Spider Crab with a two-metre claw span, he has been christened ‘Crabzilla’ has been flown to the UK from Japan and is ultimately bound for Belgium to take up permanent residence in a specially adapted display tank at a Sea Life centre in Blankenberge.

The National Sea Life Centre’s open-topped ray tank has the cold waters Crabzilla needs, and will be his home until the end of March.

Curator Graham Burrows said:“He will absolutely dwarf the other crabs in there, but he’s not aggressive and they should have nothing to worry about.” The Japanese spider crab, Macrocheira kaempferi, is the largest known member of the ‘arthropod’ family, which includes all invertebrates with jointed limbs.

The front limbs are its feeding arms, each over five feet long and ending in sizeable claws.

Found in the Pacific off Japan, the giant spider crabs are most common in waters between 200 and 300 metres deep but have been known to live as deep as 800 metres.