Welcome to my website on the red rock crab (Cancer productus). Did you know there are actually three different species commonly known as the red rock crab found in different areas of the world? Graspus graspus (found on the west coast of South America) , Plagusia chabrus (found in Australia) and Cancer productus (West Coast of North America) are the three species. Despite the same names, the three species are actually quite different. All three species are members of the infraorder Brachyura which groups all "true crabs" excluding hermit crabs, horseshoe crabs and king crabs. Good thing for Phylogenetics!

Cancer productus is native to the west coast of America from Alaska to Southern California found primarily in Oregon and Northern California. They prefer to live in bays and estuaries since they cannot osmoregulate. Their habitat consists of several other species some of which they have symbiotic relations with. Red rock crabs are carnivores that feed on smaller crabs, barnacles and oysters. The males grow to be up to 20 cm wide while females are slightly smaller. Red rock crabs live for about 8 years.



The red rock crab can be identified by its rough, strong black tipped claws. Their claws are used for defense and for crushing the shells of their prey. As the name suggests they are typically found hiding under rocks.


This website is part of UW-L's Mulitple Organisms