The Shallow-water crabs Synopsis (2nd edition) is a clear, concise and beautifully illustrated account of the British crab fauna. As well as an identfication guide, this volume is also a full description of their biology. The detailed Appendix includes a list of associations they form with other species.
In this second edition the author presents an updated text and five additional species, three of which are new to the local fauna.
Crabs are the most advanced members of the phylum Crustacea. True crabs belong to the suborder Brachyura (short tails) and show a considerable size range. Brachyuran crabs reach their greatest numbers in species and subspecies in tropical and warm temperate regions of the world.
Due to their ability to grow large and have a high and nutritious meat yield, crabs are a popular human food. Indeed in recent years the Edible crab has become one of the most important sources of income to UK shell fishermen. Although in British waters only two species are fished – the edible crab, Cancer pagurus and the thorn-back spider crab, Maja squinado.
Synopses of the British Fauna is a series of identification guides. Each volume in the series is a detailed account of a group of animals. They bridge the gap between standard field guides and more specialised monograph or treatise. Since 1993 the the Field Studies Council has published these guides on behalf of the Linnean Society.
These volumes are suitable for the lab or field. The editors aim to keep them as user friendly as possible, with technical terminology at a minimum and a glossary of terms. However the complexity of the subject matter makes the books more suitable for the more experienced practitioner.