Dungeness Crab

Metacarcinus magister

Photo by robinb44 on flickr.com

Dungeness Crabs are some of the bigger crabs that you will find on the North Shore at 10 to 20 centimetres. They are recognizable with their red, orange and purple shells, which can be spiny on the outer part of the shell. Dungeness Crabs prefer to live in sandy areas, where they can bury themselves to hide from predators. Often if you find a large red crab shell flipped over on the beach, it may be that a Seagull predator managed to get to it first! Other predators of the Dungeness Crab are humans – Dungeness Crabs are some of the most popular to catch and eat.

Crabs have 3-4 pairs of walking legs plus a pair of claws, which they use to feed and defend themselves. Crabs are crustaceans; like shrimp and lobster, they have a hard shell or ‘exoskeleton’ to protect themselves.

Information from E-Fauna BC: http://linnet.geog.ubc.ca/efauna/Atlas/Atlas.aspx?sciname=Hemigrapsus%20nudus