E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Wildlife of British Columbia

Lopholithodes foraminatus (Stimpson, 1859)
Brown Box Crab; Puget Sound Box Crab
Family: Lithodidae

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

© Aaron Baldwin  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #96978)

E-Fauna BC Static Map
Distribution of Lopholithodes foraminatus in British Columbia
Details about map content are available here.

Species Information

Carapace convex; covered with small granules and spines on high points of dorsal surface and on margins. Rostrum a sharp upturned spine with several smaller spines crowded above the base. Eyestalk subequal in length to rostrum with small sharp spines on dorsal surface; cornea small and ventrally placed. Antennal acicle with upright spines on lateral margins only. Chelipeds and walking legs subequal in length with numerous granulated spines of tufts and setae on all exposed area. Chelipeds each with lateral extensions on inner dorsal margins of merus; carpus and propodus upcurved so that mouth parts are protected. On outer margin of each cheliped carpus a smooth deep semicircular sinus coincides with a similar flatter structure on carpus of each 1st walking leg. When the appendages are pressed together a nearly circular hole, or foramin, results. Larger cheliped, with fingers armed with molar-like teeth for crushing; smaller cheliped has small sharp teeth for cutting; all fingers have corneous tips. Lateral surfaces of walking legs smooth so that they fit together tightly; dactyl short and relatively slender with granulated spines and a sharp claw. Abdomen with knob-covered plates.


Carapace: male 165 x 185 mm, female 145 x 175 mm.


Carapace red-brown with purplish tinge and white area, particularly in the depressions. Smooth, paired, knobs dark red. Chelipeds dorsally white, tan and mottled with red; fingers orange or red, tips white, as well as teeth, and corneous tips dark brown. Ventral surfaces mostly white with some patches of red and purple. Foramin white, lined with purple streaks. Walking legs white with red-brown dorsally; propodus with narrow band of white granules distally; dactyl red-brown and white distally, with brown claw. Eyestalk white ventrally, pale brown dorsally and reddish or white spines; cornea orange-brown. Antennal flagellum tan. Abdomen with violet patches and some red-brown nodules.


Muddy bottom.



North of Banks Island, Hecate Strait, British Columbia (53°40’N, 130°30’W), to San Diego, California; intertidal to 547 m.
Distribution In British Columbia

Common in muddy areas; often caught by draggers.

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.

Additional Photo Sources

General References

Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2021. E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Fauna of British Columbia [efauna.bc.ca]. Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed: 2024-05-28 7:57:38 PM]
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