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

Lopholithodes mandtii Brandt, 1849
Box Crab; Puget Sound King Crab
Family: Lithodidae

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

© Derek Holzapfel  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #15370)

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

Species Information

Carapace covered with granules of different sizes, covering small knobs and blunt spines on the margins. Cone-shaped elevations over gastric, cardiac and branchial areas. Rostrum blunt spine bearing 3 knobs above the base. Eyestalk small, shorter than rostrum, covered with many needle-like spines; cornea small and ventrally placed. Antennal acicle with dorsal surface and lateral margins covered with smooth slender spines. Chelipeds each with extensions on inner dorsal margins of merus; carpus and propodus with upcurved spines so that the mouth parts are covered when chelipeds are withdrawn. The exposed areas are covered with large, granulated blunt spines and knobs. Teeth of larger hand, large and molar-like and those of smaller hand, small and numerous. Fingers with corneous ring at tip. Walking legs with lateral faces smooth, so that they fit closely together, and exposed areas are heavily armed like the chelipeds; dactyl short, with a strong claw. Abdomen composed of plates well armed with granulated knobs.


Carapace: male 200 x 270 mm.


Carapace scarlet, violet or cobalt-blue, with high points and knobs orange. Some granules brown and the smooth knobs either side of gastric area are dark red. Chelipeds and walking legs yellow, orange, red and blue. Cutting teeth of chelipeds white and setae dark brown; tips of fingers black. Abdomen yellow, red and blue. Eyestalk red-brown with light spines; cornea orange or red. Antennal flagellum red and faintly banded.


Usually subtidal rocky area. Sea Urchins are eaten. Has been observed feeding on sea anemones (Brent Cook, pers. comm.).



Sitka, Alaska, to Monterey, California; intertidal to 137 m.
Distribution In British Columbia

Not uncommon but the activities of SCUBA divers have probably reduced the numbers of large individuals.

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.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Ctenorhinus setimanus
Echinocercus cibarius

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: 2024-02-22 2:18:12 AM]
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