Pigmy Rock Crab    Cancer oregonensis



This small version of the Red Rock crab is only around 1.75 to 2 inches across the almost circular carapace (top of the shell). The legs and carapace margin are very hairy while the black-tipped claws lack any spines or hairs. The bigger Red Rock crab has a more angular carapace, lacks hair, grows to 8 inches but when small is light colored.   Another close relative, the Furrowed Rock crab, is about the same size and is also hairy, but it's carapace is more angular and the black-tipped claws possess spines and hairs.  Another similar sized crab with black tipped claws, the Black-clawed crab, lacks hairs on the carapace and legs.


The Pigmy Rock crab is usually found under rocks or mussels in the low intertidal and subtidal zones (reportedly found to depths of 1400 ft) or under floats.  Hiding by day, it wanders about at night eating barnacles.


It ranges from the Pribilof Islands in Alaska to southern California.