Cornwall visitors told spider crabs are not dangerous as thousands gather at beaches

10 August 2022, 12:56 | Updated: 10 August 2022, 15:08

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Tourists in Cornwall have been reassured after thousands of the crustaceans appeared in Newquay, St Ives and St Austell.

Cornwall visitors have been told that spider crabs are not venomous after thousands carpeted the sea floor at a number of popular tourist attractions.

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The crustaceans have been gathering on beaches in Newquay, St Ives and St Austell, prompting the Cornwall Wildlife Trust to describe this summer as 'unusually spectacular' for sightings. It is thought that the increased numbers are a result of climate change.

The trust has reassured the public that they are 'completely harmless to humans' after concerns that they had a venomous bite.

The crabs have been spotted in Newquay, St Ives and St Austell
The crabs have been spotted in Newquay, St Ives and St Austell. Picture: Cornwall Wildlife Trust

Matt Slater, marine conservation officer at the trust, told MailOnline: "They don’t bite at all and their pinch is not serious - it probably wouldn’t even scratch."

He added: "I've spent my whole career trying to get people to appreciate amazing marine animals like spider crabs.

The public have been reassured the crabs are not venomous
The public have been reassured the crabs are not venomous. Picture: Cornwall Wildlife Trust

"Reports of them being venomous are simply untrue and could damage their reputation. These animals are truly unique and are completely harmless to humans.

"Despite the many gatherings we've seen in places like St Ives, it's not that common to witness this kind of behaviour. I saw it for the first time in Falmouth last year and it was an unbelievable experience.

"Please go out, enjoy our coastline responsibly and admire these sensational spider crab displays should you be so lucky to see one."