Red Rock Crab

Red Rock Crab
Latin Name

Cancer productus

Group Name

Invertebrates

Taxonomy details

Habitat

Red rock crabs are native to the Pacific Ocean. They range from Alaska to southern California. They live in rock, gravel or kelp beds in bays, estuaries and rocky areas of the ocean from the low intertidal to at least 90 metres depth - although they have been caught in traps as deep as 230 metres. Red rock crabs often shelter in rocks or bury themselves in the sand to avoid predators such as river otters, sea otters, large fish and other crabs.

Species Description

Adult red rock crabs are a dark, brick red colour with a white underside. They have a wide carapace that is quite smooth to the touch and two large claws of equal size with black tips. Red rock crabs may attain shell widths of 160 millimetres across the shell but are generally smaller than dungeness crabs. The legal harvest width in British Columbia is 115 millimetres across the widest part of the shell. Females are smaller, seldom exceeding 100 millimetres carapace width. Juveniles look strikingly different from adults-they are cryptically camouflaged and may be white or red with white stripes.