A Quick Guide to Types of Crabs
There are literally hundreds of types of crabs in the world. They have ten legs, the first pair of which are claws, although there are some crabs with only one claw. Here we’ll take a look at just a few of the types of crabs that live in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. If you live near the ocean, you can find fresh crabs to eat any time of the year.
The biggest crab population on the Atlantic Coast of the United States is the blue crab. It is found all the way down the coast from Maine to Maryland and as far away as the Gulf of Mexico. Blue crab is what is usually in cans of crab meat.
Down around Maryland and Virginia, the Chesapeake Bay is famous for its blue crab. The blue crab was accidentally introduced to European and Japanese waters.
While Jonah crab and rock crab were once considered pests and thrown back into the ocean, today the demand for crab is so great that they are kept and sold in restaurants and supermarkets. The situation is much the same as it was for pollock.
Once considered a nothing fish and thrown right back in the water, today all of the cheap fish in supermarket are pollock, and haddock, which used to be an inexpensive fish, has increased dramatically in price. Jonah and rock crab are found all along the Atlantic Coast.
One of the biggest types of crabs is Norwegian crab, also known as Norwegian red crab and Norwegian king crab. These crabs can grow to be almost five feet across and they can weigh up to twenty-two pounds. Norwegian crab was originally Alaskan king crab which scientists from Russia dropped into the Barents Sea back in the 1960s.
Because these crabs have no natural predators there, they are continuing to reproduce to such an extent that they are taking over Norwegian waters.
Types of crabs in the U.S. Pacific Ocean include Alaskan king crab, the Dungeness crab and the Snow Crab. Alaskan king crab is everyone’s favorite crab and one of the highest priced crabs as well. Technically, it really is not a crab at all but a crustacean.
It is in the family Lithodidae, and there are forty different species in this family. During times when Alaskan king crabs were scarce, Russia took over as the biggest supplier of king crab to the United States and remains so.
The Dungeness crab is named after Dungeness, Washington. It is found from Alaska to California. This is a very popular crab and some people say it tastes a lot like Maine lobster. It is sweeter than other types of crabs in the Pacific and the meat is very tender.
The Snow Crab lives in the northern Pacific and Atlantic in very cold waters. It is a crab that costs less than other crabs so you will often find it on the menu in restaurant chains.
There are many other types of crabs around the world. In Asia, there is a blue swimmer or blue manna crab that is related to the blue crab that is so popular along the Eastern Atlantic Coast of the United States. It is called a flower crab in Eastern Asia and sand crab in Australia. This crab has a very wide area of distribution, including Africa, Japan, Southeast Asia as well as Australia and New Zealand.
The Japanese blue crab is a different crab that is sometimes called a horse crab. It is found on the Chinese Coast. This blue crab is the crab that is most common throughout all of Asia and it is the most-fished crab in the entire world.
Another of the types of crabs found in Asia, Africa and Australia is the mangrove crab. It also goes by such names as black crab or mud crab. It is much more delicious than the Japanese blue crab so it is in great demand.