Decorator Spider Crab

Camposcia retusa

(4 Reviews)

Decorator Spider Crab

Decorator Spider Crab

Camposcia retusa

(4 Reviews)

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Care Facts

Care Level: Easy
Temperament: Peaceful
Diet: Omnivore
Reef Safe: No
Minimum Tank Size: 20 Gallons
Max Size: 4 inches
The Spider Decorator Crab, Camposcia retusa, is a slow-moving scavenger that curiously attaches various anemones, sea flora, sponges, bryozoans, and coral polyps to its exoskelton in an attempt to camouflage itself. They are semi-aggressive and can harm smaller crabs or snails. Though generally stationary, it will move to eat and breed. The Decorator Crab is easy to maintain and thrives best in well-established reef tanks with a thick sandy bottom. 

Exploring the World of the Decorator Spider Crab: A Guide for Your Marine Aquarium

The Decorator Spider Crab (Camposcia retusa) is a fascinating addition to saltwater marine aquariums, known for its intriguing behavior and unique appearance. The Decorator Spider Crab could be an ideal choice if you want to enhance your marine aquarium with an engaging and captivating inhabitant. This comprehensive guide will provide facts about the Decorator Spider Crab, covering various essential aspects of their care and compatibility within your aquarium environment.

Habitat of the Decorator Spider Crab: Coastal Explorers Along Atlantic Shores

Decorator Spider Crabs are commonly found along the Atlantic coastlines of North America, from Canada to Florida. They inhabit shallow waters, often preferring areas with rocky substrates and seagrass beds.

Reef Compatibility: Balancing the Decorator Spider Crab With Other Saltwater Creatures and Plants

Decorator Spider Crabs are not considered reef-safe. They typically do not threaten corals but might be aggressive to other invertebrates or small fish.

Size: Petite Marvels for Your Aquarium

These crabs are relatively small, with a typical carapace width of around 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.5 cm). This compact size makes them well-suited for smaller to medium-sized aquariums.

Lifespan: Longevity in a Marine Setting

Decorator Spider Crabs can live for up to 3 to 4 years in a well-maintained aquarium environment.

Molting Behavior: A Delicate Transition of the Decorator Crab

Like other crustaceans, Decorator Spider Crabs undergo molting, shedding their exoskeleton as they grow. During this vulnerable period, it's advisable to provide hiding spots and extra caution to prevent potential stress or harm.

Diet: Omnivores with Varied Tastes

Decorator Spider Crabs are omnivorous, meaning they consume a varied diet. This can include small meaty foods like brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, and other frozen or live foods. Incorporating some plant matter, such as algae sheets, can contribute to their nutritional needs.

Compatibility and Temperament: Finding Harmony in Diversity

These crabs are generally peaceful, but their compatibility with other tank mates depends on their size and temperament. It's best to avoid keeping them with overly aggressive or predatory species.

Adaptive Traits: Unveiling the Secrets of Decorator Spider Crabs

Decorator Spider Crabs are known for their curious and exploratory behavior. They often use debris and materials from their surroundings to camouflage themselves, showcasing their adaptive and fascinating traits.

Suitable Tank Mates for Decorator Spider Crabs

  • Clownfish: Their non-aggressive nature makes them great companions.
  • Fire Shrimp: These shrimps can coexist, forming an interesting visual contrast.
  • Gobies: Many goby species are compatible due to their peaceful demeanor.
  • Royal Gramma: Their distinct swimming pattern adds diversity to the tank.
  • Small Hermit Crabs: These small crustaceans can share the environment without significant issues.

Creating the Perfect Environment: Tank Requirements for the Decorator Crab

  • Minimum Aquarium Size: A tank with a capacity of 20 gallons or more is suitable for a single Decorator Spider Crab.
  • Aquascaping: Provide ample hiding spots with crevices and rocky structures for their comfort.

Optimal Water Conditions for Decorator Spider Crabs

  • pH: Maintain a pH level between 8.1 and 8.4.
  • Salinity: Keep the salinity within the range of 1.023 to 1.025.
  • Water Temperature: The ideal temperature range is 72°F to 78°F (22°C to 26°C).
  • Lighting Requirements: Moderate to low lighting is preferable, simulating their natural habitat.
  • Water Flow: A moderate water flow is suitable, as overly strong currents can be stressful for them.

Other Common Names: The Many Titles of Decorator Spider Crabs

Decorator Spider Crabs are also known as Spider Decorator Crabs.

Choosing Decorator Spider Crabs from

When purchasing Decorator Spider Crabs from, you ensure the acquisition of healthy and responsibly sourced specimens. Our commitment to ethical practices and thorough collection and shipping procedures ensures you receive vibrant and thriving crabs for your marine aquarium. Backed by our wealth of experience and dedication to marine life, offers enthusiasts a reliable source for quality marine creatures.

With its captivating behavior and compatibility with various tank mates, the Decorator Spider Crab can be a remarkable addition to your saltwater marine aquarium. By adhering to their specific care requirements and creating an environment that mimics their natural habitat, you can provide them with a comfortable and enriching home within your aquatic realm.

Reviewed by: Duc Tran on Nov. 3, 2023

This Crab/Spider is a very good thing I do recommend getting a lot of coral and placing a bunch of things into your tank though because this crab will take anything it can find and pickup then put it on the shell.

Reviewed by: Tomy Thompson on Sept. 26, 2017

Very cool crab! Love watching him "decorate " himself. This crab will give you lots of pleasure as he crawls about your tank

Reviewed by: Ellen Lucas on Aug. 14, 2017

The only reason I got this crab was because Saltwater Fish called to tell me the original crab I ordered wasn't "up to par" and was asked if I would like this type as a replacement. I'M SO GLAD I DID! This is the coolest crab! It looked like a big "blonde " tarantula. Then one day it suddenly looked like a skeleton! I thought it had died until it started moving. Was fun to watch it re-decorate itself. Highly recommend this guy

Reviewed by: Ellen Lucas on May 18, 2017

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