Exploring Maine’s Crabs: A Guide to the Different Types of Crabs Found in Maine

Maine’s cold coastal waters are home to a variety of crab species. Here are some types of crabs commonly found in Maine:

1. Jonah Crab (Cancer borealis)

Jonah Crab is a species of crab that can be found in the Atlantic Ocean, including the waters off the coast of Maine. They have a reddish-brown or dark brown shell and are known for their sweet and tender meat. Jonah Crabs are often harvested commercially and can be found in local seafood markets and restaurants.

2. Rock Crab (Cancer irroratus)

Rock Crab, also known as Peekytoe Crab or Bay Crab, is another species commonly found in Maine’s coastal waters. They have a hard, spiny shell and are typically brown or greenish-brown in color. Rock Crab meat is considered delicious and is often used in crab cakes and other seafood dishes.

3. Snow Crab (Chionoecetes opilio)

Snow Crab, also referred to as Opilio Crab or Queen Crab, can be found in the colder waters of the North Atlantic, including the Gulf of Maine. They have a slightly smaller body compared to other crab species but are highly valued for their delicate and flavorful meat. Snow Crab is a popular choice for seafood lovers in Maine.

4. Dungeness Crab (Metacarcinus magister)

While more commonly associated with the West Coast, Dungeness Crab can also be found in Maine’s waters, particularly during certain seasons. They have a distinctive shape with a broad, triangular body and reddish-brown shell. Dungeness Crab meat is sweet and succulent, making it a sought-after delicacy.

These are some of the crab species you can typically find in Maine. Each species has its unique characteristics, flavor profiles, and availability throughout the year. If you plan to engage in crabbing or enjoy fresh crab in Maine, it’s important to familiarize yourself with local fishing regulations and guidelines to ensure sustainable and responsible harvesting practices.