Below are examples of crabs you might find on Oregon’s exposed rocky shores or beaches. The photos on this page are from northern Oregon unless noted in the caption. My organization follows Lamb and Hanby (2005). Common names are my choice. I refer to WoRMS for scientific names, and I learn a ton by browsing the natural history riches in Kozloff (1993). Biodiversity of the Central Coast’s Crustaceans page is full of great information on Pacific Northwest crabs. The books, field guides, and identification resources listed at the bottom of the page also cover the crabs shown below and many more.
Let’s explore the crabs!
Metacarcinus magister, Dungeness crab
Molted shells are abundant in the wrack. When the molt is in full swing, the beaches of some exposed shores become so littered with freshly molted shells it looks like a die-off.
Pugettia producta, northern kelp crab
Note: This page was updated on January 4, 2022.