Red Rock Crab
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Scientific Name Cancer Productus
Conservation Status Least Concern
Family Arthropod
Habitat Intertidal areas of west coast
Food barnacles, crabs, small fish

Cancer productus, one of several species known as the Red Rock Crab, is a crab of the genus Cancer found on the western coast of North America.

C. productus ranges from Kodiak Island, Alaska to Isla San Martine, Baja California. It inhabits mid-intertidal waters to 79 m depth.

Cancer productus is carnivorous and in Puget Sound will crush barnacles with its large pincers for consumption. Small living crabs and dead fish are also eaten. Mating in this species occurs when the female is soft-shelled from October to June in Puget Sound. The male can often been seen guarding females until molting during this time. This species is known to be a favorite prey item of Enteroctopus dofleini, the giant Pacific octopus.

Although the Rock Crab is harvested by sport fishermen, there is no commercial fishery. It is not as sought after as Dungeness crab due to the considerably lower amount of flesh. Howeveer, the flesh has a delicate flavor that is slightly sweet. Both males and females with a carapace that exceeds 5” may be harvested in Washington, when in season.

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