Edible Crab

Cancer pagurus


The Edible Crab is a typical-looking crab, with a broad, orange body. It lives amongst seaweed and rocks, up to depths of 100 metres, and feeds on smaller animals and detritus. During the winter breeding season, a male will find a female and grab hold of her until she moults; at which point they are able to mate.

How to identify

An orangey-brown on top, paler underneath, with black tips to the front pair of pincers. Easily recognised by the combination of its large size and colour.

Where to find it

Found all around our coasts.


When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

How can people help

Our seas and coastline are in need of protection if we are to keep our marine wildlife healthy. The Wildlife Trusts are working with fishermen, researchers, politicians and local people towards a vision of 'Living Seas', where marine wildlife thrives. This work has recently had a massive boost with the passing of the Marine Bill, promising sustainable development of the UK's marine environment. Do your bit for our Living Seas by supporting your local Wildlife Trust.

Species information

Common name
Edible Crab
Latin name
Cancer pagurus
Barnacles, crabs, shrimps and lobster
Width of body: 20cm
Conservation status