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by Aaron Baldwin. Hermit crabs are not a true species of crab as they don’t belong to the Brachyura infraorder. Because this crab looks like a horseshoe, this is how the item gets its name. The popular name of this crab was coined in Maine. Visit the Atlas Pages for the Crabs of BC . For simply steamed legs, try this King Crab Leg recipe. Brown crabs have an oval body with edging that looks like a pie crust. They also have a unique form of protecting themselves, as they usually use one of their legs – which contains a small circular groove at the base – to snap off a leg should it be held by a predator or get entangled to the point where it cannot escape any other way. Unlike some other kinds of edible crabs, you can easily break open the legs to get to the meat. Some of them make great pets, whereas others aren’t as suitable. The taste of this variety of crab is described as moist and tender with salty hints of the ocean. Different types of crabs inhabit cold saltwater regions, warm sea areas, bodies of fresh water, and they also live on the land. The Spruce / Bailey Mariner Blue Crab . Not only do the shells protect the abdomen, but the crabs can also hide within them whenever necessary. Hermit crabs make up a group of crabs in the Paguroidea superfamily and can include marine crabs and land hermit crabs. You can boil them in a similar way to Blue crab and they have a rich sweet taste. _g1.setAttribute('src', _g1.getAttribute('data-src') ); Here, learn all about the general identifying information for the most well-known edible types of crab. _g1 = document.getElementById('g1-logo-inverted-img'); Types of pet crabs Rainbow land crab and Halloween land crab. They’re also one of the largest species of edible crab, with shells sometimes spanning 11 inches (and a leg span of 6 feet)! Dungeness crabs are very large, usually weighing from 1.75 to 4 pounds, and they have a color that is purplish-brown. If you don’t know the major differences about the crabs, below is the list of types of crabs to make you aware more about these giant species. Often called the Alaskan King crab, the Russian crab, or the Japanese crab, these crabs can get up to 25 pounds in weight and up to ten feet in size. The Brown crab is one of the most popular varieties of edible sea crab in the UK. They have meat that is tender and sweet, and they are some of the most heavily harvested animals on the planet. The graceful crab is very similar in appearance to the Dungeness crab, however it is much smaller and lacks the “teeth” along the edge of the pinchers. _g1.setAttribute('srcset', _g1.getAttribute('data-srcset')); In fact, Hermit crabs consider their shells so important that they are known to kill other Hermit crabs in order to steal their shell. The snow crabs or Chionoecetes opilio in scientific terms, are a type of crab very popular in Alaska. The puget sound king crab is also one kind of many species of king crab. There is usually plenty of meat in the body as well as the legs and claws. Photo: basykes / flickr / CC-BY 2.0. These crabs are found in the warm waters in Central America and the East Coast of the US. Due to the hardness of the claws, you need a mallet or crab crackers to get to the meat. Horseshoe crabs are marine and brackish water arthropods of the family Limulidae, suborder Xiphosurida, and order Xiphosura. Looking like the rock star of the crab world, the orangutan crab is a small species of … 5. Of all of the Snow crab varieties, this type of crab is by far the largest, and it can be steamed, boiled, grilled, sautéed, or even roasted. This page takes a look at some the most interesting types of crabs and how they live. Horseshoe crabs have ten eyes and in fact, are not really crabs at all, being more closely related to animals such as scorpions, ticks, and even spiders. Much of the delicious white meat is found in the legs of the Red King crab that can have a span of nearly 5 ft. (1.8 m)! This type of crab is usually only captured by its pincers, because that is where the biggest amount of meat is stored and with a more delicate flavor. Horseshoe crabs live primarily in and around shallow coastal waters on soft sandy or muddy bottoms. The anemone benefits by receiving food scrapes from the crab, while the crab benefits by getting a bit of extra protection and camouflage. The crab varieties come by these names due to the color of their shells. Many people regard crab as one of the tastiest types of seafood you can choose from. These ‘crabs’ are more closely related to squat lobsters. The meat from cooked Blue crabs is described as salty-sweet. Different crab species require different marine environments for survival. Blue crab is a popular type of edible crab. Hermit crabs are usually purchased as pets for children because they are fun to play with and very small. It has smaller chelae than other popular crabs, such as the Florida Stone crab. This is a small to medium-sized crab. An adult brown crab can weigh up to 6.6 lbs (3 kg) with about one-third of its weight being meat. It belongs to the family Lithodidae which comprises of forty species. Like other types of crabs, it is only legal to harvest the male King crabs, and the meat is snowy white with a yummy, delicate flavor and an outer edge that is bright red in color. They have sweet white meat that has an oilier texture than regular crab meat. The Southern European crab is a type of small edible freshwater crab. These compact brown-orange crabs have a bumpy shell with orange or lightly-colored dots on it. if ( localStorage.getItem(skinItemId ) ) { It also has various color such as orange, red, and purple. Other commercially important taxa include Portunus pelagicus, several species in the genus Chionoecetes, the blue crab (Callinectes sapidus), Charybdis spp., Cancer pagurus, the Dungeness crab (Metacarcinus magister), and Scylla serrata, each of which yields more than 20,000 tonnes annually. It is also a variety of the Hermit crab, although it doesn’t have a shell when it is fully grown as those crabs do. Blue Crabs. Usually, soft-shell crabs are consumed whole sautéed or deep-fried. 5 Orangutan Crab Achaeus Japonicus. Coconut crabs inhabit islands in the Indian and Pacific oceans. It can be steamed, boiled, grilled, sautéed, or even roasted. The meat can be eaten plain, stuffed into spring rolls, scattered on salads, or used in other creative ways. 3. The Dungeness Crab, scientifically known as Metacarcinus magister, is a widely distributed crab species along the North American Pacific Coast. You can find them in the depth of 450 feet. The Japanese Spider is a type of large crab with long legs. They have five pairs of legs, the first one containing pincers, and a body that is made mostly of a shell or a carapace that has a small abdominal flap. Many people say that coconut crabs taste like a cross between a crab and a lobster. } catch(e) {}, Nayturr For my money, pound for pound (and king crabs can weigh up to 10 pounds each), I’d go with Alaskan red king crab legs over lobster tail any day. The taste and look of the sweet crab meat depend on the sex of the crustacean. They can be found down to 10 meters (33 ft) in the western and eastern Atlantic and Caribbean Sea. In fact, its scientific name literally means ‘beautiful savory swimmer.’ These swimming crabs can grow to about 9” (23 cm) in width (excluding the length of the legs). The Peekytoe crab (Cancer irroratus) is a brown rock crab species that thrives in cold waters in the Atlantic Ocean. The bodies of these super-sized crustaceans can measure up to 11” (28 cm) across and weigh up to 28 lbs (nearly 13 kg). As hermit crabs grow, they have to discard their shells and look for larger ones. The crabs with less meat will float to the top of the tank, and they then sell those crabs as “lights.”. Horseshoe crabs are from the Limulidae family and live in shallow coastal waters of the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific Oceans. There are many types of crab that you can catch, clean, cook and eat. Even though they are a beautiful blue color, they do change to a reddish color as other crabs when they are cooked. It is not so much an exploration of the different families of crabs as an examination of what kinds of places crabs live with examples of individual species. Rather than a round type of carapace, the side of a Blue crab’s body protrudes to a point. The Peekytoe crab (Cancer irroratus) is a brown rock crab species that thrives in cold waters in the Atlantic Ocean. The meat from male brown crabs is whiter and has a sweeter flavor. Snow crabs found in the Bering Sea can be found approximately 650 feet below the surface, in sandy or muddy environments. Cooking a Blue crab causes the shell to turn a distinct deep red color common to most cooked crustaceans. This crab variety is prized for the amount of meat in its body. Their popular name is a misnomer, as they are not true crabs, nor even crustaceans, as crabs are, but a different order of arthropod.. Crabs make up 20% of all marine crustaceans caught, farmed, and consumed worldwide, amounting to 1.5 million tonnes annually. This is not a problem for them, because they can grow another leg from the scar where the last one was found. With stone crabs, only the claws themselves are eaten, and since crabs can regenerate their claws every eighteen months, fishermen often twist off a claw and toss the crabs back into the water, leaving them with one claw to defend themselves. Alaskan crab is more a crustacean rather than a true crab. These brownish-red colored claws (chelae) with black tips are the same color as its hard outer shell. Among the three types the Alaskan king crab is known to be the popular crab with relatively high prices. Of all of the Snow crab varieties, this type of crab is by far the largest, and it can be steamed, boiled, grilled, sautéed, or even roasted. 1,594. Another popular large variety of crab is the Dungeness crab (Cancer magister) which is brown to purple in color and has a hard shell. Crabs are a type of crustacean that belong to the order Brachyura. The taste of Horsehair crab meat is described as sweet and delicate and is considered as one of the best tasting crab. The Florida Stone crab has large claws with sweet and succulent meet. Nayturr See also: Types of Ocean Crabs – List of Marine Invertebrates 1. This becomes a deep red color when cooked. Bairdi crabs are also called “true” crabs, and their pincer claws are in the front of their legs. In order to be harvested, they are required by law to be a minimum of 6.25 inches in length, and only the males are allowed to be harvested. The largest crab species is fished from October to January in Norton Sound, Alaska, and the Bering Sea. Found quite frequently on the Eastern coast of the United States, blue crabs can be from 3.5 to 5.5 inches in sizes, sometimes larger. In the first list we have atlantic rock crab or also known as Cancer irroratus for its scientific name.This species of crab can’t be underestimated because of its small size which is only about 13 mm. The leg span can reach a massive 18 ft. (5.5 m) in length. King crabs (Paralithodes camtschaticus) are counted as one of the best and most common types of edible crabs because of their large size and delightful taste. Different species of crab really vary in size and in their behaviour. If you can obtain a naturally sweet species like flower crab, go light on the seasoning to let the natural flavor of the crab come through. Aside from its size, this small crab can actually be found in the depth until 790 m beneath the sea. True crabs typically have quite a short projecting “tail” and the reduced abdomen is hidden entirely under the thorax. This crab can be found in the ocean along the Pacific Coast. Red King crabs are generally caught in cold North Pacific seas around Alaska, such as the Bering Sea and Norton Sound. A rainbow land crab. INTRODUCTION TO THE CRABS, SHRIMPS AND CRAYFISH OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (ORDER DECAPODA) Pacific Red Hermit Crab (Elassochirus gilli), photo by Aaron Baldwin. It is also called the ‘hairy crab’ due to the spiky hairs on its body. Another name for this seafood delicacy is the Atlantic rock crab. There are over 6,000 types of crab and crab subspecies. So, just how big is the Japanese spider crab? One of the unique features of this crab-like species is that they don’t develop their own hard exoskeleton. The main types of Alaskan Crab are the following: Alaskan King crab, Red King crab, Blue King crab, Golden King Crab, Russian King crab, Jonah crab, Dungeness crab, Snow crab, Tanner crab, Opilio, and Biardi. They vary in size from the Pea Crab which is 0.27 to 0.47 inches in length to the Japanese Spider Crab that spans 12 feet from claw to claw. Introduction . } catch(e) {}. Northern Kelp Crab Pugettia producta Typical size: 1-3” across carapace ID: Smooth carapace top. Crabs are very old creatures, dating back to the Jurassic Period which was 200 million years ago. This is where geothermic energy is released into sea water due to holes in the earth's crust. There are also Dungeness crabs and blue crabs where most of the succulent snow-white meat is in the body. One type of edible freshwater crab is the Southern European crab (Potamon fluviatile). What’s The Difference Between Fog and Clouds? The reason they are called. Most Dungeness crabs live approximately ten years, and because of their taste, there is an extremely popular type of crab to eat. There are roughly 1,100 species of Hermit crabs, divided into seven different families. This is a medium-sized crab variety with the carapace being between 6” and 9” (15 – 22 cm) wide. King crabs are one of the most common and best types of edible crabs due to their large size and delicate taste. Stone crabs have large claws that are very hard and have a lot of meat on the inside. Photo credit: Steve Childs. The Horsehair crab (Erimacrus isenbeckii) is a popular crab variety in Japanese cuisine. The Brown crab is one of the most popular varieties of crab in the United Kingdom. Scroll below to know more. Compared to the size of other popular types of edible crabs, the Peekytoe crab is a medium-sized crab. This is because, without freezing, stone crabs can have an iodine taste that is not very pleasant. The King Crab. Systematics. Snow Crab. Its carapace can grow up to 5.25” (13 cm) in diameter. There are many types of edible crabs that have white, sweet, delicious meat when cooked. Snow crabs (Chionoecetes opilio) are also called rock crabs and are a type of Alaskan crab with long legs. Their behavior has also earned them various names. The crabs are then returned to the ocean where they will grow a new claw within 18 months. This is a type of green crab that is generally found in rivers and streams in Italy, Greece and the Balkans. An adult green crab may only average about 2” (5 cm) and they have been a popular food source for hundreds of years. The Peekytoe crab (Atlantic rock crab) is a type of cold ocean crab. Types Of Crabs - There are about 850 types of crabs that are found throughout tropical and semi-tropical regions. They have … This is not as large as the Red King crab, but can still weigh up to 18 lbs (8.2 kg). They are found in the waters from Alaska to the Baja area of Mexico and are named for a town called Dungeness, which was formerly found in Washington State. Certain crabs can also make a very tasty meal! They like to have them stuck to whatever shell they are in. Alaskan King Crab is the biggest crab ever found on Earth. In fact, species of king crabs are among some of the largest types of crabs on the planet. Catching these crabs requires a cold storage unit on the fishing boat in order to replicate the crab’s natural environment in the deep seas. For protection from predators, hermit crabs need to find empty shells that they will ‘live’ in. Horsehair crabs are generally found in the waters around Alaska and Northern Japan. Although there are dozens of different types of crabs, only a handful dominate the market: Alaska king crab: The Alaska king crab, the largest of all crabs, is mostly sold as cooked and frozen meat from the legs and claws. These crabs usually grow to 8” (20 cm) in width, with the body and meat being a good source of meat. Although their shell-to-meat ratio is relatively small, they are still edible and very tasty. Rather than catch and cook the whole crab, when these crabs are caught, one claw is pulled off. Blue crab claws are also available. There are around 1,300 species of freshwater crabs, distributed throughout the tropics and subtropics, divided among eight families. The Japanese Spider crab (Macrocheira kaempferi) is a scary-looking type of crab that tops the list of crabs with long legs. Peekytoe crabs have white meat with little specks of pink and a very sweet flavor that is enjoyed by all types of chefs. var _g1; This type of crab is identified by its brown color and purplish spots on its hard shell. Some species are now endangered because of habitat loss as well as intensive hunt which leads to 1½ million tons of crabs cooked alive every year. Of course, the length of the long spindly legs means that it may take a bit of work to get all of the tasty flaky white meat out. You can usually find king crabs at the bottom of the ocean or on muddy, sandy floors at a depth of anywhere from 90 – 300 feet. This also gives a pink tinge to the edges of the savory Alaskan crab meat that you extract from the claws and legs. Blue Crab . Crabs belong to the crustacean family and have over 4500 species. These different types of crab can be cooked in numerous ways, although most people prefer to boil or steam their crab. They are essentially sand or Maine crabs, but once the name was changed to “peekytoes,” their popularity took off. _g1.setAttribute('srcset', _g1.getAttribute('data-srcset')); _g1 = document.getElementById('g1-logo-inverted-source'); _g1.setAttribute('src', _g1.getAttribute('data-src') ); Blue crabs are also a popular type of crab to serve as a soft-shelled crab. These crabs are also known as calling crabs, and belong to the family Ocypodidae. The Horseshoe crab is rarely eaten due to its low meat content. The meat of the female crabs is a brown type of crab meat that has a rich flavor. Types of Mangrove Crabs Fiddler Crab. Found frequently in territories around the Pacific and Indian oceans, Coconut crabs only have two distinct predators – other Coconut crabs and human beings. If chefs wish to learn which claws have the most meat, they float them in a tank of water. The shallows at Three Tree Point are a good place to encounter this species. They are very commonly found on Florida beaches, and they have a spike-like tail that many people consider dangerous, even though it is completely harmless. Compared to varieties of seawater crabs, the Southern European crab is tiny in comparison. The Latin name for blue crabs means “beautiful swimmer,” and the name suits it well because it is a beautiful, blue-green-colored crab. Dungeness crab is one of the best crabs to eat. When it comes to large crabs, the Red King crab is certainly one of the biggest crabs in the world. This is when a crab has just shed its outer shell (exoskeleton) and the new one hasn’t hardened yet. The enormous cold-water crab can weigh up to 42 lbs (19 kg)! They are characterized by the brown tones of the upper part of their shells, which become lighter in the lower one. Although this is an edible type of crab, it is rarely eaten because of its low meat content. The Horseshoe crab is a type of arthropod and, despite their name, are not a true variety of crab. Apart from the blue color of its shell, one of the identifying features of this popular crab variety is the shape of its body (carapace). } Blue crabs are a type of swimming crab that have 2 paddle-like feet to help it swim. Puget sound king crab is the next types of ocean crabs. If you happen to eat a coconut crab while visiting a Pacific Island, you may also find that they have a slight taste of coconut. Another type of huge Alaskan king crab is the Blue King Crab (Paralithodes platypus). More than 1,300 described species of freshwater crabs are known, out of a total of 6,700 species of crabs across all environments. } They tend to live in shallower waters in bays and estuaries along the coast. In the waters of U.S. Pacific Ocean we can find three major types of crabs which are the Alaskan king crab, the Dungeness crab and the Snow crab. You will find Dungeness Crabs as far north as the Aleutian Islands, Alaska south as Magdalena Bay, Mexico. Blue crabs: By far the most common fresh crab is the blue crab. The total number of species of freshwater crabs, including undescribed species, is thought to be up to 65% higher, potentially up to 2,155 species, although most of the additional species are currently unknown to science. From the many species of king crab, Red King crab (Paralithodes camtschaticus) is a popular type of Alaskan crab. The Dungeness crab is a relatively large type of ocean crab. They are usually cracked open with a mallet and served with a variety of dipping sauces. In recent years, Bairdi crabs have suffered due to overfishing, which has resulted in strict controls being placed over fisheries that specialize in this type of crab. Coconut crabs eat meats, nuts, fruits, and seeds, and one aspect that makes them unique is their inability to survive for long periods of time under the water – in fact, they will eventually drown if they are underwater for too long. Like many crab species, they are nocturnal and spend the day hiding or defending their homes on the reef or rock walls from trespassers. The body of this dark-brown colored crab can grow up to 7” (17 cm) across. To narrow down the options, let’s look at some of the most popular types of pet crabs. They use gastropod shells that hide their soft abdomen as they grow larger because without these shells they are open to a predator’s attack. Their size could reach up to 10 inches. Hermit crab is a type of small crab that doesn’t develop its own hard shell. For example, snow crabs live in the cold waters around Alaska, Greenland, Siberia, and Japan. These crabs are recorded among the largest species of crabs in the world. They are also called ‘robber crabs’ or ‘palm thief’ as they are speculative creatures that will steal anything edible they can find. _g1.classList.remove('lazyload'); Soft-Shell Crabs. Cooked Dungeness crabs take on a light pink to red color. One of the identifying features of the Florida Stone crab is its large pincers on the front of its body. With Hermit crabs, lifespans and sizes vary greatly and in fact, they can live anywhere from a few months all the way up to thirty years. At the end of the article, you will also learn about a few crab species and different types of crabs that are rarely consumed. The meat extracted from the claws is one of the best to eat – it is sweet and succulent with a firm texture. Until around 1997, these crabs were a throwaway product and were considered of little use by most lobster fishermen. It has a large body which can measure up to 16” (40 cm) in width. You can click in to each one to find more information about each type, view pictures and find where their respective habitat's are and crab season's. The Latin name for blue crabs means “beautiful swimmer,” and the name suits it well because it is a beautiful, blue-green-colored crab. Blue Crab A native of the western edge of the Atlantic Ocean, the blue crab ranges from Nova Scotia to Argentina. These large-sized crabs are found in the waters around the East Coast of the US, the Gulf of Mexico, Japan, and Europe. Most varieties of crab have hard outer shell (called an exoskeleton), 3 walking legs on either side of their body, and 2 pinching claws. Rather than being something to fear, the meat of a Japanese spider crab is a delicious delicacy. Its carapace can grow up to 5.25” (13 cm) in diameter. A sweet, easy staple at all-you-can-eat seafood buffets. The Brown crab (Cancer pagurus) is an edible crab with a reddish-brown shell, legs, and claws. Also called a robber crab or a palm thief, the coconut crab is the largest land-living arthropod in the world, getting up to nine pounds in weight and up to sixteen inches long. _g1 = document.getElementById('g1-logo-mobile-inverted-img'); However, it is most commonly found in the area stretching from Texas to Massachusetts. This species of crab is also found in the cold seas around Alaska and in the North Atlantic Ocean. _g1.classList.remove('lazyload'); They live in water that at least 1000 feet deep. However, the Florida stone crab is found in warmer seas in the Gulf of Mexico, on the coast of Florida, and in salt marshes in some US states. Soft-shell crabs are blue crabs that have molted. Although rarely on the menu, Coconut crabs (Birgus latro) are an edible type of land-dwelling crab. Use a cracker on the tough, spiny leg clusters to access long, thick spears of meat inside. Actually, the coconut crab is a type of hermit crab. If you love crab, but don't know much about them nor the difference of the various types, you'll find these pages interesting, also with some great tips and crab facts.

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