Crabs

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 some crabs!

Cancer productus, red rock crab

Romaleon antennarium, spot-bellied rock crab, Pacific rock crab

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


References

Gotshall, D. W. 2005. Guide to Marine Invertebrates, Alaska to Baja California 2nd Edition (Revised). Shoreline Press.

Harbo, R. M. 2011. Whelks to Whales: Coastal Marine Life of the Pacific Northwest. 2nd ed. Harbour Publishing Co.

Jensen, G. C. 1995. Pacific Coast Crabs and Shrimps. Sea Challengers, Monterey.

Kozloff, E. N. 1993. Seashore Life of the Northern Pacific Coast. 3rd ed. University of Washington Press.

Lamb, A. and B. P. Hanby. 2005. Marine Life of the Pacific Northwest. Harbour Publishing.

Sept. J. D. 2019. The New Beachcomber’s Guide to the Pacific Northwest. Harbour Publishing.


Online Resources

Biodiversity of the Central Coast’s Crustaceans page is full of great information on Pacific Northwest crabs. Accessed 01/12/2023.

Friends of Netarts Bay WEBS Crustaceans page. Accessed 01/12/2023.

It’s worth scrolling down to crabs in Common Sea Life of Southeastern Alaska: A field guide by Aaron Baldwin & Paul Norwood. Accessed 01/12/2023.

Cowles, D. (2005). Cancer productus Randall, 1839Invertebrates of the Salish Sea. Rosario Beach Marine Laboratory. Accessed 01/12/2023.

Cowles, D. (2005). Pugettia producta (Randall, 1839)Invertebrates of the Salish Sea. Rosario Beach Marine Laboratory. Accessed 01/12/2023.

Cowles, D. (2007). Romaleon antennarium (Stimpson), Schweitzer and Feldmann, 2000Invertebrates of the Salish Sea. Rosario Beach Marine Laboratory. Accessed 01/12/2023.

Maxwell, J. (2002 as edited). Metacarcinus magister  (Dana, 1852) Schweitzer and Feldmann, 2000Invertebrates of the Salish Sea. Rosario Beach Marine Laboratory. Accessed 01/12/2023.


I updated this page on January 12, 2023.