Red Rock Crab
The Red Rock crab (Cancer producuts) is one of the toughest crabs out there, so it’s no surprise that this crab is in fact related to the “big bad” Dungeness crab. That and because they usually end up in your trap when you are fishing for the Dungeness.
The red rock crab is a pretty tricky fellow to find in restaurants and stores, because it’s generally considered to be too small for commercial crab catching. Fortunately, if you know how to catch crabs or know any friendly sport fisherman, you’ll have a much easier time getting hold of some red rock crab. Red rock crab is very delicious–just as delicious as its relative, the Dungeness crab. The one downside to eating red rock crab, though, is that their shells are extremely strong and can be harder to break through than other crab species. But if you’ve been crab fishing all day and you haven’t caught any Dungeness, then the extra work with red rock’s shell is worth it for your yummy meal.
You might be wondering why this particular crab is called the red rock crab. The crab’s name comes from two different things related to its life: its color and its habitat. The crabs are a deep red in color, although juvenile red rock crabs are more of a tan or flea color. They prefer to hang out in rocky ares, such as places with outcrops or even places like rocky headlands. They also like to live in places that have nice, rocky bottoms for them to crawl along–this is due to their lack of a gill straining feature, found in other craps, which is required when crabs live in areas with mud or sand bottoms. They tend to be found at areas of about 79 meters deep and above.
These crabs are usually about 5 to 7 inches across, although most of the red rock crabs caught are about 5 inches across the shell. Some larger crabs, about 7 or 8 inches, have also been spotted. The legal size for keeping a red rock crab is 5 inches, which is a pretty normal size for both genders once they reach maturity. Because both male and female red rock crabs tend to be a similar size, it can be a bit difficult finding out if the crab you’ve caught is a male or a female. The easiest way to do this is to flip the crab over and examine its abdominal section, right near its end. If it’s a male red rock crab, then you will see a narrow and triangular looking abdomen. If it’s a female, you’ll see a wider and more oval shaped abdomen.
Did you know? Fun facts about the red rock crab that may surprise you:
- Red rock crabs have a fan shaped carapace with little knobs along the edges
- Their thick claws are black-tipped
- Red rock crabs mate during May through August
- Their claws are so powerful, they can break through OTHER red rock crab’s legs!
- Because their claws are so big, some grocery stores actually sell just the red rock crab’s claws
- It takes them 6 months to reach their juvenile stage.
- rock crab
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