All About the California King Crab


See that blue band on our King Crab’s leg? Colored bands are used to identify different animals with the exhibit. They help our aquarist team monitor each crab’s health, how much it is eating, and the last time it molted its exoskeleton. When the crab molts, the band comes off with the skeleton, so a new one is put on once the shell has hardened.

  • They range in color from brownish to bluish red and are covered in sharp spines.
  • They have three pairs of walking legs and one pair of claws.
  • Their claws are different shapes. One is a large, heavy-duty claw that is used for crushing prey, and the other smaller claw is used for more delicate handling of food items.
  • Determining the sex of red king crabs is easy. Males have a triangular abdominal flap and females have a rounded one.
  • Red king crabs can grow to be very large, up to 24 pounds with a leg span of 5 feet.
  • Males grow faster and larger than females.
  • Large red king crabs have few predators except right after molting.