8 Most Expensive Crabs in the World

by Ella

Crabs are among the most sought-after seafood delicacies around the world, appreciated for their sweet and succulent meat. While many varieties of crabs are available, some are considered rare and exclusive, making them highly expensive. In this article, we will explore the eight most expensive crabs globally and delve into their unique characteristics, habitat, and market prices.

8 Most Expensive Crabs in the World

8. The Blue King Crab


The Blue King Crab, scientifically known as Paralithodes platypus, is a species of king crab found in the cold waters of the North Pacific Ocean, primarily off the coast of Alaska. Unlike its well-known relative, the Red King Crab, the Blue King Crab is smaller in size but equally prized for its delicious meat.


Characteristics of Blue King Crab:

The Blue King Crab gets its name from the bluish tint on its legs and shell, which distinguishes it from other king crab species. They have a round, compact body with five pairs of legs, including one large pair of front claws used for feeding and defense. On average, the Blue King Crab can reach a carapace width of about 6 to 9 inches, making them smaller than Red King Crabs, which can grow up to 11 inches.


Habitat and Harvesting:

Blue King Crabs are typically found in deeper waters, ranging from 300 to 600 feet, compared to the shallower waters where Red King Crabs are more commonly found. They prefer rocky or gravelly ocean floors where they can hide from predators and find food. The harvesting of Blue King Crabs is tightly regulated to ensure sustainable fishing practices and protect their populations.


Price of Blue King Crab:

The price of Blue King Crab varies depending on several factors, including the season, catch size, and market demand. On average, the cost of Blue King Crab legs can range from $20 to $40 per pound. Like other premium crab varieties, Blue King Crab tends to be more expensive during the off-season or when the supply is limited.


Blue King Crab vs. Red King Crab:

While both Blue and Red King Crabs are highly prized for their sweet and succulent meat, there are notable differences between the two species. The most apparent difference is their color, with the Blue King Crab displaying a bluish hue on its legs and shell, while the Red King Crab has a bright red appearance.

In terms of taste and texture, Blue King Crab meat is considered to be slightly sweeter and more delicate compared to the firm and meaty texture of Red King Crab. However, personal preferences may vary, and both crabs are enjoyed for their unique flavors.

7. Coconut Crabs


Coconut Crabs (Birgus latro), also known as robber crabs or palm thieves, are fascinating and impressive creatures that inhabit the tropical islands of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. These enormous land-dwelling crustaceans are the largest terrestrial arthropods in the world and belong to the hermit crab family. Coconut crabs are named after their unique ability to climb coconut trees and crack open coconuts with their powerful pincers.

Appearance and Habitat:

Coconut crabs have a distinctive appearance, with a robust body covered in a hard exoskeleton that can range in color from blue to purple and red. They have ten legs, with the front pair being large and powerful, resembling claws. These claws can be as long as 18 inches and are strong enough to break open coconuts, hence their name. Coconut crabs can weigh up to 9 pounds and have a leg span of around three feet.

Coconut crabs are primarily found on remote islands and atolls in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, including parts of Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Pacific Islands. They are typically found in coastal areas and forests, and they prefer areas with access to both land and sea.

Diet and Behavior:

Coconut crabs are omnivorous scavengers, and their diet includes a wide range of food items such as fallen fruits, nuts, vegetation, carrion, insects, and even small animals. Despite their name, coconuts are not their main food source, but they will opportunistically feed on them if available. They have been known to climb up coconut trees to retrieve coconuts and then drop them from a height to crack them open.

One interesting behavior of coconut crabs is their ability to climb trees with ease, using their powerful legs and claws to grip onto the trunks. This climbing ability allows them to explore various food sources and find shelter in tree cavities.

Price and Conservation:

The price of coconut crabs can vary depending on the region and local demand. In some areas where coconut crabs are considered a delicacy or novelty, they can be relatively expensive. However, it is essential to note that coconut crabs are protected and considered vulnerable or endangered in some regions due to overharvesting and habitat destruction. As a result, there are legal restrictions on harvesting and trading coconut crabs in certain countries to protect their populations.

6. Dungeness Crab


Dungeness Crab, scientifically known as Metacarcinus magister, is a species of crab native to the waters of the West Coast of North America, ranging from Alaska to California. Named after Dungeness, Washington, where they were first commercially harvested, these crabs have become one of the most sought-after delicacies in the seafood market due to their delicious and sweet meat.

Appearance and Habitat:

Dungeness Crabs are easily recognizable by their fan-shaped shells that are typically reddish-brown in color. They have ten legs, with the front two claws being larger and more prominent. The average size of a Dungeness Crab is around 6 to 7 inches in width, although some specimens can grow up to 10 inches across.

These crabs inhabit a variety of environments, including estuaries, bays, and coastal waters. They are commonly found in sandy or muddy substrates, where they seek shelter and protection.

Harvesting and Seasonality:

The Dungeness Crab fishing season varies depending on the region and local regulations. It typically begins in the late fall or early winter when the crabs have molted and grown larger shells, making them ideal for harvesting. The season can last until early summer, depending on the health of the crab populations and the sustainability of the fishery.


Dungeness Crabs are considered a premium seafood item, which contributes to their higher price compared to some other crab species. The market price of Dungeness Crabs can fluctuate based on various factors, including the overall abundance of the crabs, weather conditions affecting fishing, and market demand.

On average, the price of Dungeness Crabs can range from $20 to $40 per pound, depending on the location and time of the year. During the peak of the season, when the supply is abundant, the prices may be more reasonable. Conversely, as the season progresses and the availability of crabs decreases, the prices may increase.

Culinary Uses:

Dungeness Crabs are prized for their tender, sweet, and flavorful meat, which has a delicate briny taste. They are a versatile ingredient in various culinary preparations, such as crab cakes, crab bisque, crab salads, and simply served steamed with melted butter.

When purchasing live Dungeness Crabs, it is essential to ensure they are fresh and healthy. The crabs should be active, responsive, and have intact shells. It is recommended to cook and consume Dungeness Crabs as soon as possible after purchase to enjoy the best flavor and quality.

5. Stone Crabs


Stone Crabs (Menippe mercenaria) are a popular and highly sought-after seafood delicacy found along the eastern coast of the United States, particularly in the waters of Florida. These crabs are known for their sweet and tender meat, making them a favorite among seafood enthusiasts. Stone Crabs are unique in that they are harvested for their claws rather than their entire bodies, making their harvesting and sustainability practices different from other crab species.

Harvesting of Stone Crabs:

Stone Crabs are harvested using a sustainable practice known as “claw harvesting.” Fishermen catch the crabs, carefully remove one of their claws, and then return the crab to the water. The crab’s ability to regenerate its claw over time allows for continued growth and reproduction, making this harvesting method environmentally friendly and ensuring the long-term health of the crab population.

Price of Stone Crabs:

The price of Stone Crabs can vary depending on several factors, including the size of the claws, the demand in the market, and the availability of the crabs. Typically, larger claws command a higher price, as they yield more meat. During the peak harvesting season, which runs from October to May, the price of Stone Crabs tends to be lower due to the higher supply. Conversely, during the offseason, prices may rise as the supply becomes more limited.

On average, the price of Stone Crabs can range from $20 to $40 per pound, depending on the size of the claws and the market demand. Jumbo claws, which are the largest size available, can be more expensive, while medium and small-sized claws are more affordable.

Preparation and Serving:

Stone Crabs are usually cooked shortly after being harvested to preserve their freshness and flavor. The most common method of cooking is boiling, but they can also be steamed or baked. Once cooked, the claws are typically cracked open, and the meat is extracted from the shell. The meat is sweet, succulent, and slightly firmer than that of other crab species, making it a delightful treat for seafood lovers.

Stone Crabs are often served with a dipping sauce, such as a tangy mustard sauce or a classic cocktail sauce. They are commonly enjoyed as a standalone dish, but they can also be incorporated into various recipes, such as crab cakes, crab salad, or crab soups.

4. The Alaskan Red King Crab


The Alaskan Red King Crab (Paralithodes camtschaticus) is one of the most iconic and sought-after seafood delicacies in the world. Known for its impressive size, sweet and succulent meat, and striking red color, this crab species has captured the hearts of seafood enthusiasts and gourmets alike.

Origin and Habitat:

The Alaskan Red King Crab is native to the cold waters of the North Pacific, particularly in the Bering Sea and the Gulf of Alaska. These crabs are known to inhabit depths ranging from 90 to 400 feet, where they can be found in sandy or muddy ocean floors. They are generally bottom-dwellers, scavenging for food and seeking refuge in crevices and rocky outcrops.


One of the most distinctive features of the Alaskan Red King Crab is its size. Adult males can reach an impressive leg span of up to six feet and weigh anywhere from 6 to 10 pounds, making them the largest species of crab in the world. Females are generally smaller, with a leg span of about three feet and a weight of 2 to 4 pounds.

The Alaskan Red King Crab is named for its vibrant red-orange color, which sets it apart from other crab species. Its large, spiky legs and powerful claws make it a formidable creature and a challenging catch for fishermen.

Catching and Harvesting:

The harvest of Alaskan Red King Crab is a carefully regulated and controlled process to ensure the sustainability of this valuable species. The crabbing season typically runs from October to January, during which commercial fishermen venture into the treacherous waters of the Bering Sea to catch these prized crustaceans.

Crabbing vessels are equipped with traps, also known as pots, which are baited and lowered to the sea floor. The traps attract the crabs, and once they enter, the entrances close, trapping them inside. The pots are then retrieved and emptied of their catch, with only mature crabs meeting size requirements allowed to be kept.

Price and Market Demand:

The Alaskan Red King Crab is considered a delicacy, and its high demand in the culinary world contributes to its premium price. The price of Alaskan Red King Crab can vary depending on several factors, including the catch size, market demand, and fishing season success.

On average, fresh Alaskan Red King Crab legs can range from $60 to $80 per pound, with whole crabs commanding even higher prices. During peak seasons or special occasions, such as holidays, prices may escalate due to increased demand.

3. Crystal crabs


Crystal crabs, also known as crystal red shrimp or red bee shrimp, are a fascinating and sought-after variety of freshwater shrimp in the aquarium hobby. These small, colorful crustaceans belong to the species Caridina cantonensis and are native to the freshwater streams and rivers of Southern China.

Characteristics of Crystal Crabs:

Crystal crabs are renowned for their stunning appearance, which features a vivid red or white body with distinct transparent or crystal-clear sections. They have a small size, typically ranging from 1 to 2 inches in length, making them ideal inhabitants for nano aquariums or shrimp tanks.

One of the most striking features of crystal crabs is their unique color patterns, which are classified into several grades based on their intensity and purity. The highest grade, known as “Panda” or “King Kong,” showcases a stark contrast between the red and white sections, creating a panda-like appearance. Other grades include “Red Wine,” “Red Ruby,” and “Snow White,” each displaying different combinations of colors.

Habitat and Care:

Crystal crabs are relatively hardy creatures, but they require specific water parameters and conditions to thrive. They prefer slightly acidic to neutral water with a pH range of 6.2 to 7.5 and a temperature between 68°F to 78°F (20°C to 25°C). Maintaining stable water parameters is crucial to ensure the health and longevity of these sensitive creatures.

In their natural habitat, crystal crabs are typically found in densely planted areas with plenty of hiding spots. Therefore, providing a well-planted aquarium with driftwood, rocks, and mosses is essential to replicate their natural environment. It is also vital to ensure clean and well-filtered water, as crystal crabs are sensitive to fluctuations in water quality.

Price and Availability:

The price of crystal crabs can vary significantly based on several factors, including their grade, rarity, and geographical location. In general, the more vibrant and distinct the color pattern, the higher the price. Additionally, certain grades, such as “Panda” or “King Kong,” are considered premium and command a higher value in the market.

On average, a single crystal crab can cost anywhere from $5 to $20, depending on its grade and quality. Rare or highly sought-after specimens with exceptional coloration can be even more expensive, reaching prices of $50 or more.

2. The Giant Spider Crab


The Giant Spider Crab (Macrocheira kaempferi) is one of the largest species of crabs in the world, known for its impressive size and unique appearance. These colossal crustaceans are found primarily in the waters of the Pacific Ocean, particularly off the coasts of Japan, where they are highly prized both for their size and culinary value.

Physical Characteristics:

The Giant Spider Crab gets its name from its long, spindly legs that can span up to 12 feet (3.7 meters) from claw to claw, making them one of the largest arthropods on Earth. Their bodies are relatively small compared to their legs, with a carapace (shell) that typically measures around 15 inches (38 centimeters) in width. The crab’s reddish-brown exoskeleton is covered in spines, providing them with excellent camouflage among rocky ocean bottoms.

Habitat and Behavior:

Giant Spider Crabs inhabit the deep waters of the continental shelf, usually residing at depths of 300 to 600 feet (90 to 180 meters). They prefer rocky or sandy ocean floors, where they can hide and scavenge for food. These crabs are primarily nocturnal, venturing out during the night to search for their preferred diet of small fish, mollusks, and carrion.

Culinary Value and Price:

The Giant Spider Crab is highly sought after in the culinary world, particularly in Japanese cuisine. In Japan, it is known as “Takaashigani” and is considered a delicacy, often served in high-end seafood restaurants and traditional kaiseki meals. The crab’s sweet and tender meat is the main attraction, making it a popular choice for various dishes, including sushi, sashimi, and tempura.

Due to its immense popularity and limited availability, the price of Giant Spider Crab can be relatively high, especially when sourced from reputable seafood markets and restaurants. In Japan, the price of a single Giant Spider Crab can range from $100 to $300, depending on its size and market demand. Larger specimens with longer legs are typically more expensive.

1. Snow Crabs

Snow Crabs

Snow Crabs (Chionoecetes opilio), also known as Queen Crabs, are a popular seafood delicacy known for their tender, sweet meat and distinctive appearance. These crabs are primarily found in the cold waters of the North Atlantic and North Pacific Oceans, with significant populations in regions such as Alaska, Canada, and Russia. Let’s explore more about Snow Crabs and their price in the market.

Appearance and Habitat:

Snow Crabs are easily recognizable by their long, spindly legs and relatively small bodies. The body of a Snow Crab is round and flattened, covered in a hard exoskeleton that provides protection. Their legs are slender and covered in fine hairs, giving them a snow-like appearance, which is where their name originated.

Snow Crabs inhabit deep waters, typically found at depths ranging from 150 to 2000 meters (500 to 6600 feet). They prefer cold waters with temperatures ranging from 2 to 4 degrees Celsius (36 to 39 degrees Fahrenheit). Snow Crabs are primarily bottom-dwellers, residing on soft sediment or muddy ocean floors.

Harvesting and Availability:

Snow Crabs are commercially harvested for their delectable meat, which is celebrated for its delicate flavor and tender texture. Commercial fishing for Snow Crabs is conducted using large pots or traps, which are set on the ocean floor to catch the crabs. The traps are baited with fish or other seafood to attract the crabs, and they are then hauled up to the surface to collect the catch.

Snow Crab fishing is typically conducted during specific seasons when the crabs are most abundant and active. The exact timing of the fishing season can vary depending on the region and the specific regulations set by the local fisheries management authorities.

Price and Market Demand:

The price of Snow Crabs can vary depending on several factors, including the fishing season, the size and quality of the crabs, and the supply and demand in the market. Generally, Snow Crabs are considered a premium seafood product and command higher prices compared to some other crab varieties.

On average, the price of Snow Crabs can range from $20 to $30 per pound in the market. However, prices may fluctuate throughout the year based on factors such as weather conditions, fishing quotas, and the overall availability of Snow Crabs in the market.

Snow Crabs are especially popular during the holiday season and special occasions when seafood is in high demand. Their delicate flavor and tender meat make them a favorite for seafood lovers and contribute to their premium pricing.

See also: The World’s Most Expensive Crabs: What You Want to Know


Crabs are a delectable treat enjoyed by seafood enthusiasts worldwide. While some crab varieties are more expensive than others due to their limited availability, large size, and exquisite taste, they remain highly sought-after delicacies. The prices of these crabs can fluctuate based on factors such as the harvesting season, location, and market demand. Whether it’s the rich flavor of Alaskan King Crab, the sweet meat of Dungeness Crab, or the delicate taste of Snow Crab, indulging in these luxurious crustaceans is an experience worth savoring. However, as with any luxury food item, it is essential to consume them responsibly and sustainably to ensure the conservation of these precious marine species for future generations to enjoy.



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