Scarlet King Crab

Crustaceans like spider crabs, squat lobsters, shrimp and sea spiders all belong to Phylum Arthropoda. Scroll down to learn of the most common crustaceans at Southern Hydrate Ridge coastal community.

Scarlet King Crab (Lithodes couesi) Scarlet King Crab

The Scarlet King Crab is a deep sea crab found at depths below 350 m along the coast of Alaska and down to California. Males can grow to up to 108 mm in length and females can grow up to 92 mm in length. These crabs have long slender legs that are believed to be an adaptation to their deep sea life. The skinny legs require less muscle allowing for the crab to keep up its energy with a small amount of food. This is important because food can be scarce in the deep sea. Their legs also allow them to take fewer steps and still cross the same distance as well as spreading out their body weight to keep them from sinking into the substrate. The Scarlet King Crab was seen at multiple locations along Hydrate Ridge. It was often found in sandier substrate, however it was also found among a large group of snails.

Marine Life Field Guide (Neptune Canada)


Hermit Crab (Pagurus sp.)  Hermit Crabs

Hermit crabs belonging to the genus Pagurus use snail shells as homes. There are over 170 species of hermit crab in this genus. The abdomen of Pagurus hermit crab is not calcified. These crabs mostly consume small animals and scavenge carrion. These two hermit crabs were seen at Southern Hydrate Ridge at depth of 774 m. They were found in sediment with cobbles and clams on the seafloor. A similar specimen was spotted by Neptune Canada living among soft sediment on the seafloor at a depth of 1271 m. The species was unable to be identified.

Marine Life Field Guide, Neptune Canada