Exploring Massachusetts’ Crabs: A Guide to Types of Crabs Found in the Bay State

Massachusetts is home to several species of crabs that can be found along its coastal areas and in its surrounding waters. Here are some types of crabs that are commonly found in Massachusetts:

1. Jonah Crab (Cancer borealis)

Jonah Crab is a species of crab found in the Atlantic Ocean, including the waters off the coast of Massachusetts. They have a reddish-brown or dark brown shell and are known for their sweet and tender meat. Jonah Crabs are commercially harvested 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 found along the Massachusetts coast. They have a hard, spiny shell and are usually brown or greenish-brown in color. Rock Crab meat is considered delicious and is often used in crab cakes and other seafood dishes.

3. Blue Crab (Callinectes sapidus)

While more commonly associated with the Chesapeake Bay region, Blue Crabs can also be found in Massachusetts, especially during the warmer months. They have a bluish-green shell with red highlights and are known for their sweet and delicate meat. Blue Crabs are popular for crab boils and other regional seafood preparations.

4. Spider Crab (Libinia emarginata)

Spider Crabs are commonly found in Massachusetts waters. They have a distinctive appearance with long, spindly legs and a triangular-shaped body. Spider Crabs are not typically harvested for their meat, but they play an important ecological role in marine ecosystems.

These are just a few examples of the crab species that can be found in Massachusetts. It’s worth noting that crab populations and availability can vary depending on the season, location, and environmental factors. If you’re interested in crabbing or sampling local crab dishes, it’s advisable to check with local fisheries regulations and consult local experts or seafood vendors for the most up-to-date information on crab species and harvesting practices in Massachusetts.