The spider crab looks HUGE! And then he goes into a ninja pose.
Spider crabs, from the family Majidae, are also called majid crabs. There are 900 species of majid crab, and some really are huge– the largest species of crab in the world is the Japanese spider crab, which can weigh up to 40 pounds and have a 12 foot leg span. The common or European spider crab, Maja squinado, is fished commercially in the Atlantic. We’ve never eaten spider crab, but hear that it’s delicious. But is it better tasting than Dungeness?
The crab in the video is a Pugettia producta, identifiable by its smooth carapace and 2 pronged rostrum. It sometimes is invaded by a parasitic barnacle, Heterosaccus californicus, which makes the crab sluggish and can cause male crab to become hermaphrodites. When a parasitized crab molts, the barnacle’s reproductive sack pushes out through the crab’s abdomen, killing the crab. You may have seen this in a movie somewhere. We’ll keep our eyes out for a sluggish, hermaphroditic crab with a barnacle egg sack emerging from his abdomen, but we’ll also keep our distance.