Scientific name: Carcinus aestuarlii
Littoral crabs are bred and consumed in spring and autumn when they are in a growth phase that forces them to change their protective skeleton (the carapace) rendering them very soft, so much so that they are consumed whole.
Littoral crabs, in spring and autumn, usually in the months from April to May and from October to November, lose their carapace and are soft and particularly tender. Seen from above, the carapace is smooth in the shape of a vaguely hexagonal heart, the front-lateral edge has 5 teeth facing towards the eye stalks. Apart from its physical characteristics, littoral crabs differ from common crabs having a very narrow abdomen. The claws are quite robust and the right is slightly more developed than the left. They have 4 pairs of long, smooth legs, the last pair is particularly flat and are used for movement in the water. The dimensions are around 6 or 7 centimeters and their colour varies between green and gray.
This species of crab fares particularly well in the sandy environments of estuaries and lagoons up to a depth of 5 meters, in fact in the Venetian lagoon, the areas between Burano, Giudecca and Chioggia are ideal for its growth and here they are specialized in their breeding.