Sea Life

Blue King Crab Facts & Information Guide

The king of the crab family – the Blue king crab. They are the largest known crustacean and the most recognizable variety of shellfish. These crabs are the most favorable seafood and have been harvested only for their tasty and highly nutritive meat which is why they are commercially very famous among the fisheries. There is much more about them that needed to be explored. Scroll down for more information.

How The Blue King Crab Are Scientifically Classified?

The scientific name of the Blue king crab is Paralithodes platypus belongs to:

Phylum:  Arthropoda

Class:  Malacostraca

Order:  Decapoda

Family:  Lithodidae

Genus:  Paralithodes

What Is The Geological Distribution Of The Blue King Crab?

The Blue king crab is found living along the western coast of the Atlantic Ocean, St. Matthew Island, the Diomede Islands, Japan, Alaska, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Russian coast. Commercially, they have been harvested from the Eastern coast of the Bering Sea. These species prefer shallow water and live at the depth of 400 to 600 feet.

Geographical Distribution of Blue King Crab

What Is The General Description Of The Blue King Crab?

The crab is a decapod – having 10 pairs of legs. They are olive to grey-bluish, the coloration of crabs is due to the presence of red pigment astaxanthin and blue pigment alpha-crustacyanin. Their hind legs look likes paddles which help them in swimming actively in the open waters. Their body is covered with spiny exoskeleton which protects them from predators. The maximum length of the Blue king crab is 4 to 9 inches and weighs approximately 1 to 2 pounds.

Physical Appearance of Blue King Crab

What Food Items Are Included In The Diet Of Blue King Crab?

The Blue king crab feeds on almost everything which comes in its vicinity, such as

  • Snails
  • Small fishes
  • Mussels
  • Small blue crabs
  • Plants
  • Sponges
  • Algae
  • Brittle stars
  • Sea urchins
  • Octopuses
  • Crustaceans
  • Worms
  • Clams
Diet of Blue King Crab

How Does Blue King Crab Reproduce?

The breeding season of the Blue king crab lasts from March to May. After mating, the female blue crab produces eggs, the spawning period lasts for about 12 months. After the spawning time ended, the eggs hatch and larvae are released. The crabs in warm water mature in just 12 months whereas in cold waters it takes 12 months to reach the maturity level. However, the Blue king crab has an expected life span of 1 to 4 years only.

What Is The Conservational Status Of Blue King Crab?

According to the Redlist of IUCN, the Blue king crab is considered “Not Evaluated”. However, they are very popular among the fisheries, which is why the population of Blue king crabs has been disappearing from the oceans or seas. Other factors such as temperature fluctuation, changes in weather conditions, pollution, and destruction of habitat are contributing equally to the decline of the population of Blue king crab.

 Additional Facts About Blue King Crab

Some of the lesser-known interesting facts about the Blue king crab are listed here:

1:  Among the coastal communities, they are named savory beautiful swimmers.

2:  The belly portion of the crab is called an apron which indicates the gender of the crab.

3:  The Blue king crab mates only once in its lifetime.

4:  The young Blue king crab has a soft exoskeleton which makes them highly susceptible.

5:  They are capable of molting which means they can shed their hard shell and develop new ones as they grow in size.

Final Words

The Blue king crab is a common variety of shellfish, they are commonly sighted in Alaskan waters. The Blue king crab is called the seafood delicacy as they are the favorite food among the coastal communities because of its highly nutritive meat, and taste. The decapods can reach a length of 4 to 9 inches and weigh approximately 1 to 2 pounds. They can live for only 1 to 4 years which is why they are considered “Not Evaluated” by IUCN. Moreover, due to human activities and fluctuations in environmental factors, the population of Blue king crabs is disappearing from the ocean waters.

About the author


I am a Scholar and a dedicated content writer. I am on a mission to stamp out the importance of one of the ocean's most fascinating and remarkable creatures, the sharks, and to let people know about their role in keeping the ecosystem in equilibrium.