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Chionoecetes bairdi Rathbun, 1924
Tanner Crab
Family: Majidae

Species account author: Josephine Hart.
Extracted from Crabs and their relatives of British Columbia.


© Derek Holzapfel     (Photo ID #37379)


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Distribution of Chionoecetes bairdi in British Columbia in British Columbia

Species Information

Carapace slightly wider than long with spines on anterior lateral margins; branchial areas slightly dilated but surface relatively flat with granular knobs forming a symmetrical pattern. Chelipeds short with small spines and granules; palm swollen and elongate; fingers with cutting surfaces of many small sharp teeth. Walking legs with merus inflated and margins with many small spines; carpus also spined.


Carapace: male 121 x 139.4 mm, female 74 x 81 mm.


Carapace greenish-brown with red granules and lateral spines orange, shell-pink and cream ventrally. Chelipeds with gold iridescence, pinkish brown dorsally with maroon spines; ventrally pink; fingers white with red stripes and orange at base. Walking legs brown, white, shell-pink and orange with red stripes dorsally; dactyls reddish. Eyestalk mud-brown and pink; cornea reddish with black pigment.


Mud; usually in less than 200 m.



Southeastern Bering Sea, to Winchester Bay (43°34’N, 124°36.1’W), Oregon; from 6 to 474 m.
Distribution In British Columbia

In fjords and other muddy channels.


An arctic species, C. opilio, is found in shallow water in Bering Strait and around the Aleutian Islands. It differs from C. bairdi mainly in having length and width subequal in the carapace, which is also less spiny.

Status Information

Origin StatusProvincial StatusBC List
(Red Blue List)

BC Ministry of Environment: BC Species and Ecosystems Explorer--the authoritative source for conservation information in British Columbia.

General References