Spider crabs are visibly, very different from brown crabs. One obvious difference is the lack of large claws, as a result, the spider crab uses camouflage rather than armour as its defence mechanism. They use a glue made from their saliva to stick bits of seaweed onto their shells, blending in with the rocks they hide in.
The bane of many fishermen, they get tangled up and tear holes in their static nets. Many bash them with a hammer and throw them back in! There’s still not much of a market for them here in the UK, but they’re still caught in pots and exported to France and especially Spain, where they're very popular among the Basque population (who call them tzangurro).
You dress spider crab in a similar way to a brown crab. There’s quite a lot of meat in the legs and it’s well worth the fiddle of removing it.
Unlike brown crab, which is best served with mayo and good bread, we like jazzing up a spider crab with other ingredients. The meat doesn't have the fibrous qualities of the brown crab, but it's incredibly sweet. The baked crab recipe below is divine.