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Oregon Crab Species
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Crab Identification - Kelp Crab

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Crab identification - Kelp crab

Green Crab | Kelp Crab | Rock Crab

 Kelp Crab

Kelp Crab Climbers

Kelp crab are in the Majidae or “Spider crab” family. Several species in this diverse family are excellent climbers, many are found in the complex habitats of the Oregon’s rocky reefs.

Crab identification

kelp crab
Kelp crab

Vegetarian Crab?

Northern kelp crab, may look like intimidating predators, but they are actually primarily kelp eaters. They are very common in the lower estuary and the nearshore ocean, particularly within kelp beds and around structure such as pilings. Occasionally, kelp crab are caught by recreational crabbers, often just because they will climb on crab line.

kelp crab lunch
Kelp crab

Built for comfort

Unlike the sand dwelling Dungeness crab, kelp crab are designed for climbing. This is apparent when looking at their rear legs comparatively. The rear legs of a kelp crab are rounded and the dactyls (terminal segment of leg) feature a serrated edge easing climbing on kelp and other structure.

kelp crab leg
Kelp crab

Built for speed

The same feature of a Dungeness crab shows the flattened shape that enables them to travel across soft bottomed areas very quickly.

Dungeness leg
Dungeness crab
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