• Maja brachydactyla ;
  • broodstock;
  • bacteria;
  • haemolymph metabolites;
  • digestive and metabolic enzymes;
  • stress biomarkers


Adults from spider crab, Maja brachydactyla, Balss, 1922 were kept in captivity for up to 2 years. Haemolymph of ten females was extracted monthly for monitoring several metabolites and the presence of Vibrionacea bacteria. A neurotoxic marker and hepatic metabolic and digestive enzyme capacities were contrasted between wild specimens and those reared in captivity. As a result, no differences were observed in hepatosomatic index (HSI) between males and females, but captive animals presented lower HSI than the wild ones. After 2 years of confinement, no changes in quantities of haemolymph microflora and metabolites were observed and this was considered indicative of adaptation of the broodstock to confinement. Spider crab also showed a large plasticity in their hepatopancreatic digestive capabilities suggested by the adaptation to the food supplied in captivity. Moreover, captivity conditions did not seem to negatively alter their antioxidant defences, xenobiotic capacity or neuromuscular activity, as no enhanced oxidative stress damage was shown in either males or females. These results indicate that although the confinement conditions used in this study do not mimic those from the wild, they could be considered as adequate for rearing M. brachydactyla in captivity, at least with regard to the set of parameters assessed.