The largest species of Red king crab native to the far northern Pacific ocean is the red king crab, also known as the Alaskan king crab or Kamchatka king crab. It is famous for the large fisheries that target this species in this region.
A large species of crab with a carapace about 11 inches across and a leg span of almost 6 feet is the red king crab. Males, with the largest individuals weighing about 28 pounds, grow larger than females. For additional protection, it has a hard shell or an exoskeleton covered in short, hard spines.
Like other real crabs, prawns, and lobsters, the decapod is the king’s crab, with ten legs. A burgundy or brown color appears, despite their name, which refers to their color once cooked.
The Red King Crab is native to the Pacific Ocean in the north. In the Bering Sea, this species can also be found and was introduced in the 1960s to the Barents Sea. It has been found in waters ranging from approximately 29-55 ° F, preferring cold waters. The red king crab tends to inhabit shallow waters less than 65 feet deep when it is young. Individuals will normally be found between 65-165 feet of water once they reach around two years of age. They will often participate in ‘podding’ at this stage, where hundreds of crabs come together in large, highly concentrated groups at night. As they are still not fully grown, this provides them with protection from predators.On sandy substrates, adult king crabs eventually inhabit waters more than 650 feet deep, although they will move to shallower, rocky areas to mate.
An omnivorous species, feeding on almost anything it can, is the red king crab. This includes feeding and hunting a variety of invertebrate species on dead and decaying plant and animal materials, using their front limbs to hold and manipulate food and prey.
The red king crab may face predation in its native range from a variety of species of sharks, fish, cephalopods, and whales. This largely depends on their stage of life, with larger, more mature crabs being much less vulnerable to predation. One of the most voracious predators of crabs in the native range of the red king crab is the giant pacific octopus.
Humans also regularly exploit the red king crab, forming one of the world’s largest crab fisheries.