Yellow Crab Cancer anthonyi (aka Matacarcinus anthoyi)
Oval-shaped, broad, hard shell.
Yellow, orange, or yellowish-brown body, with large black-tipped pincers on the claws.
Large, smooth claws like rock crabs. But unlike rock crabs, no red spotting on underbelly.
Juveniles tend to be darker than adults.
Humboldt Bay, California to Bahia Magdalena, Baja California.
Rare north of Point Conception.
Found from intertidal depths to 430 feet, but prefer 60-180 feet.
Mainly live in sandy habitat.
Live in bays, estuaries, sloughs.
Rock crab females mate soon after molting when their shells are still soft.
Females hold eggs on pleopods (back flap under abdomen) where they are fertilized.
Eggs can be fertilized up to a year after mating; female holds onto spermatophore from mating.
Female holds and protects eggs on her abdomen for a period of weeks before hatching.
Echinoderms (sea stars, sea urchins, sea cucumbers), snails, and clams.
Juveniles eaten by octopus and sand stars.
Adult rock crabs eaten by southern sea otters, scorpionfish, cabezon, barred sand bass, and several species of rockfish.
They are also called Yellow Rock Crab.
Yellow crab is the most commonly fished crab in southern California. They comprise 70-95% of the crab fishery in southern California.
Rock crabs can molt up to 12 times.
Sources: pierfishing.com; Encyclopedia of Life; iNaturalist; California Sea Grant; Species Profiles: Life Histories and Environmental Requirements of Coastal Fishes and Invertebrates (Pacific Southwest); Ocean Protection Council