Crabs, shrimps, prawns, and lobsters are all decapods. Decapods are a group of familiar marine creatures. The world has almost 5,000 crab species.
They are protected by a hard shell and have claws with ten legs. Crabs may be found on land and in the sea all around the globe, and they’re quite ubiquitous.
In several civilizations, they are also a delicacy. We’ve compiled a list of ten large crabs, from largest to smallest, for you.
The first and tenth biggest crabs in the world, for example, may vary by as much as a factor of ten even on this list, depending on their weight and carapace width. To learn more about the world’s top crabs, keep reading.
The Snow Crab (Chionoecetes opilio)
The Snow Crab, which lives in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans’ chilly waters, is a huge crab. Males may grow up to 16 cm in length. Female Snow crabs, on the other hand, are smaller in size and only grow to 9 cm in height. You may also find various kinds of Atlantic Ocean crabs.
Four of their legs are used for walking, while the other five are used for claws. Snow crabs have a lifespan of around 20 years.
In Tottori, Japan, a Snow crab recently sold for $46,000. Crab fishing season opened on the first day of the auction. The 1 kg snow crab had a robust body and thick legs that earned it the nickname “snow crab.”
Let’s take a look at the colors of Snow crabs to see what they look like. Brown is the color of the majority of snow crabs. On the top shell of these mollusks, there is a touch of red. The majority of their bottom shell is white.
The crabs are known as “snow” because of the brightness of their legs, which are similar to their meat. Snow crabs also have green or greenish-blue eyes. King crabs, one of the world’s largest crustaceans, are related to them, and you’ll learn more about them later in this article.
Because of the meaty flesh and sweetness of the snow crabs, they are considered a delicacy. Despite the fact that climate change has a detrimental impact on the oceans, people appear to have an easier time catching snow crabs.
Because the detrimental impact of fishing with bombs would be too terrible, trawling is the most common technique.
Florida Stone Crab
The Florida stone crab (Menippe mercenaria) is not only edible, but they are some of the world’s most expensive crabs if you’re familiar with rare crabs.
Nevertheless, their claws are the only things you can consume, so after the claws have been removed, the anglers must release them back into the sea.
The Florida stone crab has a carapace that measures five to six inches in size, with claws that measure up to five inches themselves, and the females are bigger than the males.
They are normally only around three to five ounces in weight. In the western North Atlantic Ocean, this crab species may be found in salt marshes.
In shallow waters, this crab will dig holes up to three feet deep. turtles, humans, octopuses, and cobia are among their greatest foes. Oysters, tiny mollusks, and worms are among the foods they consume.
Japanese Spider Crab
The Japanese spider crab (Macrocheira kaempferi) is the world’s largest crab. The carapace of the crab may expand up to 16 inches, while the whole crab may weigh up to 42 pounds.
When it comes to sheer mass, the Japanese spider crab is only second to the American lobster. Its exoskeleton, which keeps it safe from natural predators like octopus and protects it as a form of camouflage, makes it exceedingly dangerous.
With a leg span of up to 12.1 feet and a claw to claw length of up to 12.1 feet, this larger-than-life spider has the greatest leg span of any arthropod.
It has a small head that is orange, with black spots all over it. These crabs live at depths of 160 to 1,970 feet in the seas surrounding the Japanese islands of Hanshu.
Its rough carapace makes it ideal for blending in with the stony seabed when it comes to camouflage. In addition, spider crabs will cover their shell with sponges and other creatures to increase their level of deception.
This species, in particular, can live up to 100 years and feeds on decaying matter at the bottom of the ocean floor. To avoid overfishing, there are precautions in place to protect the Japanese spider and its species.
Tasmanian Giant Crab (Pseudocarcinus gigas)
The Tasmanian giant crab, one of the world’s largest and most common kinds of ocean crabs, is next. Its size has been reported to be up to 80 meters. The female Tasmanian colossal crabs are two times smaller than the male.
The claws of a Tasmanian giant crab are a simple way to identify it. Males have one enormous claw, whereas females have two regular claws. The Tasmanian giant crab’s color is mostly red, with a hint of orange. The claws’ tips are covered in black, and the bottom half is whitish-yellow.
The Tasmanian giant crab prefers muddy areas, unlike the snow crab, which loves deep, cold water. In Southern Australia, it is frequently encountered. The Tasmanian giant crab eats tiny-moving species like starfish, but it also has a proclivity for cannibalism, which is a fascinating fact about them.
The Atlantic blue crab and the Chesapeake blue crab are two different names for the same species of blue crab (Callinectes sapidus). They’re mostly recognized for their dazzling blue claws, which are olive green.
This creature may grow to be up to 9 inches long and weigh up to 1 pound. This species has been introduced to other parts of the world for its meat and is found in the Atlantic Ocean and through the Gulf of Mexico.
Clams, oysters, little fish, and decaying animals are all eaten by blue crabs. They spend their time bottom-dwelling in shallow waters, with a three-year lifespan. They hibernate during the colder months to survive. Since they breed in warmer temperatures and have a tough time in chilly seas, blue crabs are better prepared for global warming than other species.
The biggest of the terrestrial crabs is coconut crab (Birgus latro) or robber class. The hermit crab is the coconut crab’s closest relative, but they’ve grown to be enormous.
In addition, they have the crustacean’s most powerful claws, which can deliver a force of 3300 Newtons when they are on land.
They’ll live in the sea for around a month before coming onto land while they’re in their larval stage of development.
The Batanes islands, off the coast of the Philippines, are home to this crab species. These crabs may reach a weight of nine pounds and a width of three feet three inches.
Humans are no longer found in locations where they live, however they may be seen on islands throughout the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Coconut crabs spend the majority of their lives on land since they are unable to swim.
Coconut crabs will dwell inside snail shells until they reach a size that makes them too dangerous to live there. They’ll create subterranean burrows, usually near coconut trees, when they get too big.
Nut vegetation, tiny creatures, carrion, and fruits make up the majority of the diet of these crabs, which may live up to 60 years.
Red King Crab (Paralithodes camtschaticus)
The Red King crabs are another of the world’s largest crabs, and we’ll learn more about them. The Bering Sea, Gulf of Alaska, and Barents Sea are also known for their Alaskan King crab. The Red King crab’s enormous range spans 1 to 2 meters. The males are larger than the females, as are most crabs.
Because of its size, fishermen all throughout the globe seek for the Red King crab. It costs a lot of money, but it tastes great. Catching it, on the other hand, is famously difficult.
The Red King crabs prefer to live in the depths of the sea. They’re located 200 meters underwater, in the sea’s sandy and mucky zones. The Red King crabs would mate during the mating season by migrating to shallower water. They’ll return to the deep water after the season is over to hunt for food.
A species of snow crab known as opies is the opilio crab (Chionoecetes opilio). The North Pacific and northwest Atlantic Oceans are home to them. Male crabs may grow up to 6.5 inches and weigh up to 3 pounds, whereas female crabs may only grow up to 4 inches and weigh up to 2 pounds. Between 43 and 7,175 feet deep, these crabs can be found.
Little invertebrates are eaten by the opilio crab, which lives on the seafloor scavenging. They mate before they die, and they often survive for 5 to 6 years. Alaska and Canada harvest snow crabs, which are then exported across the globe.
Giant Mud Crab
The Mangrove crab, Indo-Pacific mud crab, black crab, and other names for the giant mud crab (Scylla Serrata). The Portunidae family includes the mud crab.
They have flattened hind legs that help them swim. They have enormous carapaces and claws, which they employ effectively to chop and crush prey because to their size. These crabs are mostly green or dark brown in coloration.
The enormous mud crab has a nine-inch carapace that may grow to 11 pounds in weight. In the Indo-Pacific, they’re often seen in mangroves and estuaries.
Crustaceans and mollusks are the major source of food for mud crabs. Fish and plants will be consumed by them.
The males will seek shelter in the caves, while the females will bury themselves in mud. The crabs become sluggish as the temperature drops.
Anglers pursue dungeness crab (Metacarcinus magister) in the Pacific Northwest’s western coasts, which is the most extensively fished species.
These crabs prefer to live near river mouths, which emptied into the sea, in murky or sandy soils. Its shell is cream-colored on top and purple-brown below.
Dungeness crabs may be found from a depth of 43 feet to 7,175 feet under the sea. They grow to be around ten inches tall and weighing between one and three pounds.
They have a hard shell and are broad and oval-shaped. They have two claws and four legs that they walk on. Other crabs, fish, starfish, squids, worms, and flesh are the main sources of food for these creatures.
Octopuses, sea otters, humans, and Pacific halibut are their predators. The Dungeness crab is more expensive than other edible crabs because the amount of flesh is minimal in comparison to the huge size of the shell. The price of this famous delicacy rises due to the small amount that you may eat.
One of the most common edible crabs is the brown crab (Cancer Pagurus). The North Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea are all home to brown crabs, which may be found up to 330 feet below sea level.
The carapace of this species is oval and has a vivid reddish-copper color with a pie crust pattern around the margins.
The claws of the brown crab are black. In a suitable habitat, female crabs may grow as high as ten inches while weighing six pounds, while male crabs are typically smaller and only hover around seven pounds.
Brown crabs may be found in crevices, under rocks, and among debris. Since they are nocturnal and prefer echinoderms, crabs, and mollusks, they feed at night.
After a fishing trip to capture as many crabs as possible, this crab is often farmed. The octopus is their primary predator. Brown crabs do not seem to sleep or close their eyes in any way.
Instead, during the day, they burrow themselves and remain awake to guard against predators. Several humans may outlive the brown crab!
When they perceive danger, they are known to pinch their claws extremely tightly, making it difficult to approach them. They don’t just attack; they have a tight grip.