Crab crab meat, photos, types and names of crabs | Characteristic

Crabs are very appreciated in cooking, dishes of them make up an important part of dishes in the kitchens of many peoples of the world. Their production accounts for 20% of all seafood in the world. There are many types of these arthropods, and it is important to know which of them are edible.

Characteristic and description

Crab is also called shorttailed cancer. Its biological characteristics are as follows:

  • Type of arthropod;
  • Crustacean class;
  • Infrary detachment is tenlegged.
  • Of the 10 paired limbs in crab 2, the front are powerful claws. The animal is aggressive due to the need for self-defense and the search for food, therefore it regularly participates in fights in which it can lose one of its claws. In its place, as a rule, a new one grows. Because of this, crabs with an asymmetric body are often found.

    4 more pairs of legs are called walking. It is they that allow the crustacean to move at different speeds, mostly sideways. For example, a swimming crab in water can make 780 strokes of its legs per minute, while another species, grassy, ​​develops a speed of 1 m / s on land.

    king crab

    The structure of the crab

    The arthropod carcass has the following composition:

  • Small head;
  • Wide almost flat cephalothorax;
  • stalked eyes.
  • The abdomen is short, symmetrical and bends longitudinally under the cephalothorax. Its shape is round, square, triangular in some species.

    The outer skeleton consists of a chitinous substance and is called the carapace. It provides the internal organs of the crab with protection from external mechanical influences and other environmental influences.

    The hard cover is formed by several layers: inside is soft organic-type chitin, outside is calcareous, which gives it strength. The substance contains pigments that color the crab a certain color.

    Due to the strength and rigidity, the shell significantly limits the animal in growth. Therefore, the crab sheds it in certain periods, until it reaches its final size. During molting, a new integumentary layer grows under the carapace, and the old exoskeleton bursts and falls off.


    Crabs are dioecious animals, the differences between females and males are significant. Males are much larger than females. Sexual maturity occurs at the age of:

  • 10 years in males;
  • 8 years in females.
  • Arthropods reproduce by laying eggs. In males, the abdominal legs are also genital organs with the functions of internal fertilization. Females hatch eggs on their limbs. One such clutch usually contains about 40,000 eggs.

    The development of a small crab takes place in several stages:

  • Larvae called zoea emerge from the eggs;
  • There is a transformation into a larva of the type of megalop;
  • An adult representative of the species is being formed.
  • Crase propagation occurs in a certain season. In each species it correlates with some natural phenomena. It can be rainy seasons or intensive tides at one or another of the year.

    So, the place of residence of the red crabs of the island of Christmas is a land away from the coastline. But during the breeding period, they massively migrate to the surf line in order to launch eggs. This movement is considered one of the most spectacular natural phenomena.

    Hills of crabs

    The usual habitat of crabs oceans and sea, less often freshwater reservoirs of large sizes. Some species are adapted to live on land. The basis of the food is fish, mollusks, worms, underwater vegetation, larvae, crustacean. The remains of different animals are also used.

    The crab uses forelimbs with claws to tear and grind food.

    The arthropod has many natural enemies. Basically, these are organisms that are adjacent in the reservoir, for example, squid and cuttlefish. It can also be land animals, birds and, of course, humans. Therefore, crabs adapt to external influences.

    Defense mechanisms include:

  • Coloring that allows you to mimic the environment;
  • Poisonous spikes on the shell;
  • Thickened growths that make it difficult to violate the surface;
  • Hairs on the entire surface of the body that hold sand, silt, grass, masking the animal.
  • Thanks to this, a crab can be indistinguishable from a stone, a group of corals or a ball of algae.

    Differences between crabs and crayfish

    Since both of these animals are crustaceans, they have a lot in common. Of the same characteristics can be called:

  • Chitin cover;
  • Large pincers on the front legs;
  • 4 pairs of limbs for walking.
  • There are more external differences. The crayfish has a long body, close to cylindrical, with a lamellar coating, ending in a tail. The crab is tailless, the shape of the carcass is different, and the chitin is solid.

    The mode of travel is also different. Cancer is characterized by walking backwards. He moves forward very slowly due to massive claws that make it difficult to move. The crab mostly walks sideways, and rather quickly.

    Crab species

    About 7,000 varieties of crabs are known. They are distinguished by the area of ​​​​residence, the size of individuals, the shape and color of the shell. For the fishing industry, only some of them are of interest, they are large, with juicy meat, and do not have protective mechanisms of a toxic type.

    Japanese spider crab

    This species is the largest member of the arthropod order. The width of the spider crab from one claw to another reaches 3 m. An adult weighs about 20 kg. The name was given by the shape of the legs: they are thin, very long and reminiscent of spiders.

    Thanks to its delicate taste and juiciness, spider crab meat is classified as a delicacy.

    Japanese spider crab

    Blue crab

    The animal lives mainly in the waters of the north-eastern seas-Bering, Okhotsk and Japanese. This species is especially valuable in Eurasia among commercial rocks.

    The name Krab was thanks to blue spots on the sides of the shell. The lower surface of the abdomen is white. Dimensions and weight vary depending on the gender: the male grows to 22 cm and 4.5 kg, the female 16 cm and 1.5 kg.

    Blue crab

    Hairy crab

    The dimensions of this species are very small, the width of the shell reaches 28 mm. On the surface there are many bristles of a yellowish tint. Hairy crab off the coast of Sakhalin.

    Fineword meat due to the fibrous structure has a specific taste. But the liver of this crab is of particular value. She is delicate, tasty, slightly acidic. It is believed that the liver belongs to aphrodisiacs along with oysters.

    There are individuals of hairy crab, which have no liver at all.

    Hairy crab

    Marble crab

    The species lives in the waters of the Black Sea, it is among the most common in this region. The sizes of such crabs are small, usually they grow up to 4.5-4.8 cm. The limbs and the top of the abdomen are covered with a characteristic pattern, due to which the species was given this name.

    The marble crab has the ability to be out of the water for a long time and spends a lot of time in land conditions.

    marble crab

    green grass crab

    The size of specimens of this breed does not exceed 6-8 cm. Habitat mainly the Black Sea coast. Coloration helps the grass crab to camouflage itself in algae or overgrown rocks.

    It is believed that the grass crab is the fastest species of arthropods. In case of danger, it develops a speed of 1 m / s.

    Chinese mitten crab

    The species owes its name to the dense dark hairs on the forelimbs. The size of the shell is not more than 7 cm in width, its color is brown or with an olive tint.

    Chinese mitten crab more often than other species becomes a carrier of crayfish plague, a disease dangerous to humans.

    Hairy Chinese crab

    coconut crab

    Another name is “palm thief”. The uniqueness of the species is that for the first 5 years it lives exclusively in the sea, and then finally moves to land. From that moment on, the basis of his diet is fruit pulp, coconuts, small rodents and other terrestrial foods.

    The species is large (reaches 40 cm in transverse abdomen), therefore it is popular as a delicacy.

    Coconut crab or palm thief

    blue crab

    The main habitat of the species is the Baltic, North and Mediterranean seas. This crab owes its name to a beautiful color in blue and turquoise tones over the entire chitinous surface.

    Despite its small size and small amount of meat, this species is successfully harvested. In addition, it is very popular in cooking. The meat is soft and tender, has no fibrous structure. It is usually used as an accompaniment to main dishes.

    blue crab

    Red mangrove crab

    This breed belongs to decorative ones, it is practically not used in cooking. Mangrove crabs decorate aquariums. Their sizes do not exceed 4-5 cm in males and 3 cm in females.

    In nature, the habitat is mangrove forests. Because of this, the species was named.

    Red mangrove crab

    Maltese freshwater crab

    The distribution area of ​​the species is the southern regions of Europe: the Balkan Peninsula, the Apennines, Sicily and Malta. The crab is omnivorous, lives in lakes, rivers, streams mostly freshwater reservoirs. Therefore, its second common name is river crab. The width of the shell is 12 cm, weight 130 g.

    Maltese freshwater crab

    hermit crab

    Another name for the species is tree crab. Belongs to land, practically does not need water. The main habitat is the coast of the Caribbean islands, mostly sandy.

    Hermit crab omnivorous scavenger. Its distinctive feature is a spiral shell. This form is not typical for other types of arthropods.

    hermit crab

    spiny crab

    The habitat is the sea coast of the Pacific Ocean, sometimes the spiny crab can live in fresh water. The size of the abdomen is 14 cm wide, there are many spikes on the shell, for which the species received its name. It is also called the Pacific hermit crab.

    The main food of the species is molluscs. Thanks to this, the meat acquires a sweetish taste and juiciness.

    spiny crab

    Madagascar freshwater crab

    As the name suggests, these small arthropods live in the forests of Madagascar. The carapace on the abdomen is about 6-8 cm wide.

    The crab has a special color: yellow claws and torso, walking limbs are rich pink.

    Madagascar freshwater crab

    Pebble clown crab

    This species is not used in cooking due to its high toxicity: the poison in the meat is not destroyed even during heat treatment. The clown crab usually serves decorative purposes. Its bright orange carapace is covered in a variety of patterns.

    Pebble clown crab

    The benefits and harms of crab meat

    Due to its high palatability, the meat of most types of crab is very popular in many cuisines of the peoples of the world, especially in coastal regions. It is also good for the body.

    Crab meat is low in calories, but rich in micro and macro elements, such as:

  • Calcium;
  • Magnesium;
  • Iron;
  • Sulfur;
  • Potassium;
  • Sodium;
  • Phosphorus.
  • It also contains vitamins A, C, E, PP and almost the entire group B.

    In 100 g. boiled crab meat contains:

  • 18.2 g. proteins;
  • 1 g. fat;
  • 78.9 g. – water;
  • 1.9 g. carbohydrates;
  • 96 kcal.
  • The composition of the product is unique, it provides an improvement in the functioning of the heart muscle and visual organs. Crab meat is recommended for anemia and disorders of the cardiovascular system.

    On sale, the product is found in canned, boiled and dried form, it is used in many dishes, especially dietary. Proper use of meat will provide:

  • Better digestibility of food;
  • Lowering the level of “bad” cholesterol;
  • Slowing down the aging of the whole organism;
  • Protection of the nervous system from depression and anxiety.
  • But it is worth remembering that most crabs are scavengers that feed on the remains of animals. This makes them dangerous carriers of infections and parasitic organisms. Eating infected meat can lead to toxic poisoning, as a result, disorders of the nervous system, up to loss of vision and hearing.

    To protect your health from harmful effects, you need to buy crab meat only where the quality control of the product is documented.
    Also, the product can be dangerous for people with individual allergic intolerance to seafood.

    How to cook and eat crabs

    Such a popular product as crab meat is very important to be able to not only cook, but also serve on the table. This usually consists in heat treatment: the meat is steamed or boiled, adding olive oil and fragrant herbs. On average, cooking takes 30 minutes, but the time may vary depending on the size of the animal and its weight.

    The most popular addition to crab meat is aioli sauce or melted butter. Sauces with richer flavors such as tartar and wasabi are often used. As a side dish, use spaghetti or cereals of any type.
    Crab meat, like most seafood, pairs perfectly with white wine.
    Self-cutting crab, fresh or boiled whole in shell, is done according to the following algorithm:

  • Disconnect the limbs from the body. Use a knife with a blunt side or rotational movements of the hand for this. Pressing the cutlery on the area where the paws are connected to the carcass will help to cope with this faster;
  • Ground claws with special ticks and take out the meat. Also carefully remove the pulp from the remaining legs;
  • The head is not used for food as it has no edible parts. Separate it from the body and dispose of;
  • To remove the meat from the abdomen, cut the crab from either end. It is better to do this from below there the shell is much softer than from the back;
  • Clean the extracted meat from dark connective tissues.
  • Now you can use the cooked product for your favorite dishes.

    Interesting Facts

    Like any other class of animals with great species diversity, arthropod crustaceans often surprise with something unusual. Many interesting things can be found in the life of crabs:

  • The popular Kamchatka crab, which is actively used in fishing, is actually not one. It belongs to the species of part-tailed crayfish. Its distinctive features are the asymmetry of the abdomen in females and the reduced fifth pair of legs;
  • As of the beginning of the XXI century, 6780 types of crabs were known, which were divided into 24 supravenes and 93 families;
  • Crabs have very developed sense organs, and especially vision. Their complex compound eyes are made up of hundreds of parts, and each of them sees only a small part of space. The overall image is “collected” in the brain;
  • Experiments have shown that vision helps the crab identify enemies, find a breeding partner, search for food. At the same time, the blinded crustacean will no longer see the danger, and “antennas” that react to smells help him cope with the rest of the tasks;
  • Eyestalks are important in crab physiology. Their purpose is akin to the endocrine system. The stalks secrete hormones, regulate the frequency of molting, readiness for reproduction and, in some cases, color change;
  • Crabs are quarrelsome and live alone. Males are especially aggressive in defending their territory and housing on it. But small species prefer to settle in colonies close to each other. On a 1 sq. m. There are about 50 minks;
  • Despite the aggressiveness, in case of danger, all crabs in the colony unite and act together. Each individual, sensing a threat, gives signs to its neighbors: waving and clicking with claws, tapping its paws on the ground. This creates vibrations that will warn the rest of the crabs and allow them to hide in time;
  • Almost anything can serve as a refuge for crustaceans. Most often these are corals, sponge cavities, cracks in stones. Some crabs live in self-dug holes in the sandy bottom. Certain species prefer to settle under the dome of jellyfish, on the tentacles of anemones, and even parasitize in the rectum and on the needles of sea urchins;
  • The government of Christmas Island, famous for its huge population of red crabs, is installing special barriers to direct the movement of crustaceans to the coastal strip during the breeding season. This helps to prevent the mass death of animals from the wheels of cars;
  • However, yellow ants were brought to the island from outside, which turned out to be very aggressive towards crabs. Statistics show that these insects have already killed about 20 million individuals of crustaceans, which is 1/3 of the population;
  • The lifespan of crabs varies by species and size. Small ones live 3-7 years, and a very large Japanese spider crab 50-70 years;
  • Many species of crabs are characterized by autotomy (self-amputation). Seeing the enemy, the individual activates the contraction of several muscles, thereby discarding the limb. If this is not enough for the predator, one more leg is given. The ruptures are closed by muscle valves, preventing blood loss. Over time, the limbs grow back;
  • The world production of crabs on an industrial scale is annually estimated at 1.5 million tons. This negatively affects the abundance of some especially popular species;
  • Land and semi-land crabs are usually used not for food, but for decorative purposes, for home aquaterrariums. It is worth remembering the nature of crustaceans: the container should be spacious, and they are not at all compatible with frogs, snails and some fish.
  • Crabs are popular not only in cooking. They are also called orderlies of nature. This is especially important in the tropics, where these crustaceans actively destroy organic matter, preventing its long-term decomposition in the heat. So they directly prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

    ( No ratings yet )
    Leave a Reply

    ;-) :| :x :twisted: :smile: :shock: :sad: :roll: :razz: :oops: :o :mrgreen: :lol: :idea: :grin: :evil: :cry: :cool: :arrow: :???: :?: :!: