The Dungeness Crab, also known as the common edible crab, is found in North America along the west coast, from Tanaga Island, Aleutian Islands, Alaska, to Magdalena Bay, Mexico. It is found throughout BC in sandy (sometimes mud or gravel) bottoms in intertidal areas to depths of 230 m. It is frequently associated with or proximal to eel-grass beds. This is a distinctive and common species of crab. It has a red-brown to purple, uneven, carapace that is up to 23 cm wide, up to 1.5 times wider than long. The front half has a spine-tipped edge. The claws (chelipeds) are spiny, purplish brown, with white 'hands' with purple. An additional technical description of the species is provided by the Marine Species Identification Portal.
This species feeds on bivalves, crustaceans, marine worms and fish (Fisheries and Oceans Canada 2010).
Fisheries and Oceans Canada (2010) describes this species as the most important species of crab harvested in British Columbia, and provide a brief summary of the fishery: "The inception of the commercial fishery occurred before the turn of the century with first recorded landings in 1885. The sport fishery has an equally long history and aboriginal harvests of Dungeness crab precede the discovery of North America by Europeans."
The Dungeness Crab is named after Dungeness, Washington.