The Different Types of King Crabs

King crabs are one of the most popular types of crabs hunted for its delicious meat. There are over 40 types of king crab and three of the main species that are edible can be found in Alaska.

The three main king crabs from Alaska are the Alaskan Red King Crab, Blue King Crab, and Brown “Golden” King Crab. There is also a fourth king crab, the scarlet king crab. However, it is not commercially viable.


Red King Crab

This is the most sort after king crab. The red king crab dwells around Bristol Bay and hundreds of fishermen gather to hunt this crab over 2 to 3 months.

They can also be found in Norton Sound. Because the red king crab is considered the best king crab, a delicacy for Japanese, European, and American seafood lovers, it is also the most expensive.

Red King Crab
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Blue King Crab

This king crab can be found near St. Matthew Island and the Pribilof Islands (both in Alaska). Blue king crabs are brown with royal blue highlights. Its meat is a tad bit sweeter than that of the red king crab. The meat turns to an orange-red color when cook which leads some to think that its red king crab meat.

Blue King Crab

Golden King Crab

These are the smallest of the three commercially viable species of king crab in Alaska. Golden king crabs have a gold-orange shell (hence the name). They are quite abundant but they have less meat when compared to the other two varieties. They also sell for less as well. They are caught around the Aleutian chain.

The above three crabs are the types of crab caught on Deadliest Catch, a popular show on the discovery channel that takes you into the lives of the fishermen who take the dangerous journey to go crab fishing.

Golden King Crab

Scarlet King Crab

The scarlet king crab is a small crab and their population is not as large as the other king crabs. Because of this, they are usually not hunted.

Scarlet King Crab

Southern King Crab

These are king crabs that are found in South America (around Argentina and Chile). They are also known as Chilean king crab or centolla. Southern king crabs grow up to 7 inches.

Norway King Crab

These king crab species can be found along the coast of Norway and other parts of Europe. The Norway king crab grows to about 5.5 inches and has a round shell that’s brown or orange in color and covered in spikes. Due to their small population and low rate of reproduction, they are not considered to be commercially viable. It is also known as the deep sea king crab.

Puget Sound King Crab

These king crabs are orange, red and purple in color and grow up to 10 inches. The Puget Sound king crab is a protected species and should not be hunted.

Brown Box Crab

About 25% of this brown box king crab’s total weight is edible. They grow up to 5.9 inches and can be found along the west coast of North America from Alaska to San Diego.