Sea Life

What is the Difference Between Red and Blue King Crabs?

King crabs are one of the most famous crabs in the world, known for their exquisite taste and variety of coloration. They are found near the region of Alaska and are devoured by people as seafood. The red king crab is undoubtedly the infamous one. But you must’ve noticed that blue king crab is enjoyed by people too. So, are there any significant differences between these two species to look out for? Let’s take a look.

Red King Crab

One of the infamous crab specie which is commercially harvested at large due to its savory taste, the Red King crab is also known as the Alaskan King Crab. They have distinctive claws as one of their claw is large, which they use specifically to crush their prey. It is a decapod means it has ten legs. It is an omnivorous organism as it prefers to hunt invertebrates as well as feed on plants or decaying matter.

Red King Crab

Blue King Crab

As they belong to the same family as Red king crabs, they share a number of physical similarities with them especially anatomical features, as both are decapods with various shaped claws. Their exoskeleton is full of spines that protect them from potential threats and predators. They were also harvested at large for commercial purposes but their number has declined rapidly over the past few years.

Blue King Crab

Differences Between Red And Blue King Crabs

Following are some of the major differences that tell apart both species.

FeaturesRed King CrabBlue King Crab
SpeciesParalithodes camtschaticusParalithodes platypus
ColorDark burgundyBrown with royal blue highlights
HabitatBering sea, Gulf of AlaskaSt.Matthew Island, Diomede Island, Pribilof Island, and the coast of Japan and Russia
Size5 feet9 inches
Weight24 pounds18 pounds
CarapaceRound-shapedSerrated
AppendagesLong and thick compared to the bodySmaller appendages
SeafoodPreferredPreferred but rare to be found
RarityCommonRare
WorthExpensiveLess expensive compared to Red King Crab
TasteSweet and savory tasteSalty ocean flavor with a subtle sweetness

Despite these differences, these two species share a number of similarities as they both are omnivorous, follow the similar mode of reproduction i.e., internal fertilization and are decapods. That could make it difficult to tell them apart, but by looking closely at them while keeping the above features in mind, it is possible to distinguish them.

The Final Word

Though both, red king and blue king crabs belong to the same genus, they do differ in terms of color, size, taste, worth, and physical appearance. These crabs have been serving the tastebuds of humans for so long, but their overharvesting has caused a serious decline in their number which is alarming.

About the author

Yumna Ahmad

An experienced content writer, photographer, and avid reader amazed by the sea world and its creatures. I am letting people become fascinated with the ocean planet through my writings.