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King Crab vs Spider Crab: What’s the Difference?

Have you ever heard of the culinary powerhouses that are King Crab and Spider Crab?

These delicious crustaceans have been delighting dinner tables around the globe for generations.

But what exactly sets them apart from each other, besides their intimidating names? Does one offer more flavor than the other?

Is there a difference in nutrition between these two shellfish selections? For those seeking to choose between King Crab vs Spider Crab, this blog post will provide all of the answers with clear and concise details.

Dive into both types of crab species as we compare appearance, nutritional info, recipe preparation options and taste preferences associated with each type.

What is King Crab?

King Crab, often referred to as Alaska King Crab, dwells in the Bering Sea.

It’s spiky shell and large size make it highly sought after by seafood lovers.

Its sweet and tender meat has made it a culinary delight.

The largest recorded King Crab weighed over 28 pounds with a leg span of more than six feet.

This makes it one of the biggest crab species in the world.

King Crab is also valued commercially.

It’s harvested in Alaska with boats and traps, but regulations have been put in place to protect these creatures from overfishing.

One amazing thing about this crab is its ability to regenerate lost limbs.

If it loses a leg or claw, it can grow it back through a process called autotomy.

This is an incredible capability that makes King Crab a fascinating subject for scientific research.

What is Spider Crab?

Spider crabs are amazing. They’re crustaceans found in oceans worldwide.

They have long, spindly legs and a hard shell.

The crab gets its name from its spider-like shape – with a long body and stretched out arms.

These crabs can get huge – some having a leg span of 12 feet.

They shed their shells as they grow, which is essential for their survival.

It allows them to stay safe from predators.

Spider crabs have interesting colouring.

Their shells often have intricate patterns that help them blend into their environment.

This helps them hide from predators among rocks and seaweed.

Spider crabs also play an important part in their ecosystem.

They scavenge the ocean floor looking for food, such as dead animals and decaying matter.

By doing this, they help keep the ocean clean by removing waste and avoiding disease.

In conclusion, spider crabs are incredible creatures with amazing adaptations.

From their spider-like shape to their scavenging habits, they add to the diversity of oceans.

With more studies of these creatures, we can discover more of nature’s wonders.

Differences Between King Crab and Spider Crab

King crab and spider crab differ in many ways.

Habitat and Distribution

King crabs and spider crabs are really interesting. They live in different places.

King crabs are in cold, northern waters like the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska.

They are deep down, up to 200 meters, usually near coral or rocks.

Spider crabs live in warmer areas, like the Caribbean Sea or Indian Ocean.

They stay near the surface, often hiding amongst sea plants or sandy bottoms.

Both crabs fit their environment perfectly.

Even though they are both crabs, their homes are very different.

Physical Characteristics

Crabs have a hard exoskeleton and live in the ocean.

King crabs are known for their large size.

They can weigh up to 28 pounds and span over six feet.

Spider crabs are more slender and can grow bigger with leg spans up to 12 feet.

King crab’s body is broad and rounded.

Spider crab body is narrower and tapers towards the rear end.

Both crabs have ten legs.

King crab’s front pair are modified into large claws.

Spider crab have long, spindly legs that help them maneuver and blend in.

King crab color is reddish-brown or dark red.

Spider crabs have brown,orange, or greenish-yellow.

These features help each crab thrive and do their job in the underwater ecosystem.

Flavor and Texture

King crabs have a sweet, rich flavor and a juicy, tender texture.

Their thick, sturdy legs provide a satisfying bite.

Spider crabs, on the other hand, are more delicate in taste and flaky in texture.

Their thin, delicate legs provide a different eating experience.

The king crab has larger claws, containing plenty of meat, treasured by seafood lovers.

The spider crab has longer legs, easily recognizable by their thinness.

Both king crabs and spider crabs offer yummy seafood options.

King crab is sweet and rich with firm meat; spider crab is delicate and flaky.

Ultimately, it’s a matter of personal preference.

Meat Yield and Availability

King crabs and spider crabs vary hugely in terms of meat yield and availability.

King crabs are beloved for their large size and lots of meat, often found in seafood markets.

However, spider crabs have smaller bodies and less meat than king crabs.

Even so, people harvest spider crabs for their tasty meat, just in smaller amounts.

Both crabs offer yummy seafood, but it’s wise to think about the differences in meat yield and availability before deciding.

Similarities Between King Crab and Spider Crab

King and spider crabs have many things in common.

They are both crustaceans with hard exoskeletons and jointed limbs.

Plus, they both have large claws for protection and hunting.

People love the meat of both species. But, there are some differences.

King crabs are generally bigger than spider crabs.

Plus, king crabs have spiky legs while spider crabs have smoother ones.

Finally, king crabs like cold water, and spider crabs prefer warmer areas.

Their distinct qualities make them both interesting.

Culinary Uses of King Crab and Spider Crab

King crab and spider crab have different culinary purposes.

King crab is famous for its sweet, yummy meat.

It’s typically steamed or boiled with melted butter. Spider crab has a gentle flavor.

It is usually used in seafood soups and stews.

Seafood lovers love both crabs due to their special taste and texture.

The king crab is large, perfect for platters.

The spider crab is small; it goes perfectly with crab cakes and stuffed shells.

In conclusion, both types of crabs offer a delicious experience that highlights the flavors of the ocean.


After examining the differences between the king crab and spider crab, it is clear that they have many similarities.

Despite these similarities, there are some notable dissimilarities that set them apart.

Both creatures possess a large number of legs, but their size and shape differ dramatically.

Furthermore, the diet of the king crab is much more varied than that of the spider crab.

Additionally, while several different species exist amongst each particular genus, there are significantly more species of king crabs than there are spider crabs.

Although both types of crabs offer a fascinating living organism for us to study and appreciate, taking note of distinctions between them can help aid in identifying which type of crab is being observed in its natural habitat.

As scientists continue to explore our world’s oceans, discovering new things about these creatures along the way, we are able to further our knowledge and better understand them and their individual behaviors.

King Crab vs Spider Crab: What’s the Difference?

Distinguish between King Crab and Spider Crab with precision. Uncover the nuances that set these two crustaceans apart and make an informed choice for your culinary adventures.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course This vs That


  • King Crab
  • Spider Crab


  • Choose between King Crab and Spider Crab based on your taste preferences and availability.
  • Prepare your chosen crab variety by cleaning and cooking it according to your preferred recipe.
  • Savor the distinct flavors and textures offered by King Crab and Spider Crab.
  • Enjoy your crab dish and explore different recipes to appreciate the unique qualities of each crab type.
Keyword king crab vs spider crab
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