Dungeness Crab

Dungeness Crab Scientific Classification
Scientific name
Metacarcinus magister
Dungeness Crab Physical Characteristics
Brown, Grey, Cream, Purple, Black-Brown, Grey-Brown
8-13 years
2-3 pounds
Dungeness Crab Distribition

Almost All Dungeness Crab purchased in the united state are gathered in the united state, unlike most of various other fish and shellfish, which is imported. They can be discovered as much north as the Aleutian Islands of Alaska, and as much southern as Magdalena Bay in Baja The Golden State, Mexico. They are taken into consideration a “Excellent Different,” a ranking offered by Fish and shellfish Watch, a worldwide leader in the lasting fish and shellfish activity when contrasted to farmed fish and various other overfished species. The ordinary life-span of Dungeness Crab is from 8 to thirteen years and they’re usually discovered in superficial waters, 30 meters or much less, yet additionally live in midsts of approximately 200 meters. Being a decapod, Dungeness Crabs are additionally connected to various other crabs, lobsters, and shrimp.

Dungeness Crab Truths

  • Dungeness Crab is the biggest edible crab, varying from The golden state via Alaska
  • For male Dungeness Crabs to get to harvest dimension, it takes about 4 years
  • Female Dungeness Crab can lay as several as 2.5 million eggs
  • Dungeness Crabs, like all crabs, can regrow shed appendages
  • Effective harvests of Dungeness Crab can produce approximately 54 million extra pounds or even more

Dungeness Crab Scientific Name

The scientific name of Dungeness Crab is Metacarcinus magister Formerly identified under the genus Cancer cells till 2000, at which time a brand-new evaluation of fossil product was carried out and the subgenera were advertised to the ranking of genus, and 3 brand-new category were developed. The Dungeness crab becomes part of the Cancridae family of crabs.

Dungeness Crab Appearance

As soon as hatched out, Dungeness Crabs are planktonic and leave the female. Throughout the larval state, which takes 4 months to one year, they drift easily and are brought by currents. Prior to going into the very first adolescent state, they have to finish 6 life phases (5 zoeae and one megalopa), after which they will certainly start to tackle the appearance of a crab, yet still no greater than a quarter of an inch in dimension.

While in their megalopa life phase they still preserve an abdominal area that appears like a shrimp, while currently having identifiable crab- like attributes such as claws and legs. Their visibility is primarily discovered within surface area waters throughout the evening, at dawn, and sundown, while staying in midsts of 20 meters or even more throughout the day.

Their development depends on molting, which is the routine procedure of losing their covering, or shell. This procedure of molting which permits them to expand in dimension is called ecdysis. With each molt, they can boost approximately 25 percent in dimension. They will certainly revoke their old covering as it divides along the side and back and as soon as they have actually dropped their old covering the opening closes. Juveniles will certainly apply a lot of their power towards molting to proceed development, whereas grownups will typically molt as soon as each year and book their power for reproduction. Males have an even more triangular abdominal area while females will certainly have a rather spherical abdominal areas.

A fully grown Dungeness Crab can get to 10 inches in size yet are a lot more frequently in between 5 to 7 inches broad. Their thick skin is both lengthy and broad, and they have 5 sets of legs. Their leading set includes claws which are utilized for protective functions in addition to abusing food, while the staying parts are for strolling. In addition, they have a number of tiny appendages that work as a mouth and 2 antennae that are utilized for touch and scent. Their covering includes a purple brownish and black shade, while their bottoms are lotion tinted.

Largest Crabs - Dungeness Crab 
Dungeness Crabs are among the bigger species of crabs.Jennifer Nicole Buchanan/Shutterstock. com

Dungeness Crab Actions

Dungeness Crabs are both predators and scavengers. Their foraging habits depends on their environment. They will certainly relocate along the seafloor scavenging microorganisms hidden or staying within the sand. In addition, cannibalism can happen, a lot of often throughout their very first weeks upon picking the seafloor or after having actually recently molted. Dungeness Crab will certainly typically mix right into their environments and go undetected and when endangered will certainly immerse their head or whole body right into the sand. If they’re not able to hide themselves they will certainly combat and relocate onto their back so their claws can challenge the risk.

Dungeness Crab Environment

Dungeness Crabs most frequently live in sand or sloppy bases within subtidal areas. Men are typically discovered in anxieties varying a meter deep and 5 meters broad as they supply sanctuary frompredators As there are restricted attributes such as these in their environment, men can gather together right here in huge teams called accumulations. In contrast, adolescent males prefer cooler water than grownups. They can be discovered in intertidal or superficial subtidal waters, staying amongst plants, beneath rocks, and in eelgrass beds.

Dungeness Crab Diet

The diet plans of Dungeness Crabs can consist of tiny clams, mussels, oysters, fish, shrimp, and worms. In addition, they feed on the seafloor for microorganisms that live both partially and totally within the sand.

Dungeness Crab Predators and Hazards

One of the most typical predators of Dungeness Crab consist of halibut, octopus, various other crab species, sculpins, and sea otters. Extra risks to Dungeness Crabs are environment damages (such as intertidal growth), sea acidification, and overfishing.

Dungeness Crab Reproduction and Life Process

Dungeness Crab breeding will certainly happen from springtime via loss, and as soon as a female molts she will certainly prepare to mate with a male. The males are polygamous, mating with greater than one female. Around a month after breeding, fertilizing happens once the female’s covering has actually set. Prior to fertilizing, the female will certainly save sperm in inner bags, and can for up 2 years, which permits grown-up females to utilize kept sperm as opposed to needing to molt and mate. The eggs are gone through pores on her forward surface area, feeding them as they go through the kept sperm. The eggs will certainly connect to hairs on the abdominal area and she will certainly lug them for 3 to 5 months till they hatch out. Females lugging eggs will certainly typically assemble and immerse themselves in a preferable substratum that offers sanctuary from tornados, enabling them to securely breed their eggs.

Dungeness Crab Population

The Dungeness Crab population is vulnerable to cyclic variations which are because of different nautical problems such as temperature level, currents, and the accessibility of food. Female Dungeness Crabs and males that have actually not yet gotten to the age of 4 are not gathered, which offers required limitations to maintain a healthy and balanced population. Industrial and leisure harvesting allocations are developed from information accumulated in pre- period studies which establish the family member wealth of fully grown females. In addition, the variety of pots utilized for harvesting, typically around a foot high with a 40- inch area, is identified by the administration location in Alaska, which aids to prevent overfishing.

While precise numbers are unidentified, greater than 1.5 million extra pounds of Dungeness Crab are gathered from Puget Noise fisheries. Dungeness Crabs are noted as a Top priority Species under the Washington Division of Fish and Wild Animals Top Priority Environment and Species Program. Under this classification safety actions are applied for their survival, which is impacted by leisure and business angling, environment change, and population standing.


  1. Wikipedia (1970) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metacarcinus >
  2. National Park Service (1970) https://www.nps.gov/articles/glba-dungeness-crabs.htm >
  3. California Sea Grant (1970) https://caseagrant.ucsd.edu/seafood-profiles/dungeness-crab >
  4. Walla Walla, Available here: https://inverts.wallawalla.edu/Arthropoda/Crustacea/Malacostraca/Eumalacostraca/Eucarida/Decapoda/Brachyura/Family_Cancridae/Cancer_magister.html
  5. Ocean Conservancy, Available here: https://oceanconservancy.org/wildlife-factsheet/dungeness-crab
  6. Alaska.gov, Available here: https://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=dungenesscrab.printerfriendl
  7. Puget Sound Institute, Available here: https://www.eopugetsound.org/science-review/3-dungeness-crabs
  8. (1970)

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