Puget Sound King Crab

Puget Sound King Crab17″x24″

Puget Sound King Crab
Lopholithodes mandtii

Marine_07-07-11778

Friday Harbor Marine Laboratories, University of Washington
San Juan Island, Washington

Archival Pigment Print

The Puget Sound king crab is a cousin of the red, blue, and golden crabs—three species collectively known as Alaskan king crabs and the basis for a major commercial fishery. While the carapace of the Puget Sound species can reach sizes comparable to those of the Alaskan ones (30 centimeters [12 inches] across), its legs—the crab parts most valued by human predators—are relatively small and short. The colorful animal in the photograph here stands out against a white background, but in its natural habitat, the crab is surprisingly well camouflaged among the encrusting algae and invertebrates that cover the surrounding rocks.