How to Distinguish Between Male & Female Crabs

Written by alicia bodine Google
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How to Distinguish Between Male & Female Crabs
Crab Walking Across the Floor (crab image by Vaclav Janousek from

Crabs are crustaceans that can be found in any ocean around the world. They have one set of claws and are covered with a tough exoskeleton. Crabs are known for their ability to walk sideways, but they can also walk forward and backward. Crabs make for a delicious meal. Female crabs sometimes contain eggs which are considered a delicacy. To have a better chance of finding these eggs, you must be able to tell the difference between male and female crabs.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Look at the crab's claws. Male crabs have one claw that is larger than the other. If you are looking at blue crabs, you can tell the female and male claws apart by the colour of their claws. The tips of the female's claws are red, and the tips of the male's claws are blue.

  2. 2

    Flip the crab upside down to reveal its abdomen. If you see a triangular shape that is quite narrow, you are looking at a male crab.

  3. 3

    Look for a broader round abdomen. If you see one, the crab is a female. The round section is sometimes easier to identify if eggs are present.

Tips and warnings

  • Place rubber bands around the crab's claws before you flip it over. Otherwise, it may pinch you.

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