What Differentiates a Snow Crab from a Dungeness Crab?

What Differentiates a Snow Crab from a Dungeness Crab?

Regardless of whether you are intrigued about digesting them for future meals or want to understand further about the phases of their lives, there are a few distinctions between Dungeness crab and snow crab. Although each of these crabs is excellent and utilised in various ways in the food industry, how are they distinguished from each other as live animals? In this post, we will discuss all the distinctions between snow crabs and Dungeness crabs, covering their exterior characteristics and preferred environment. We shall also explore their mannerisms, differences, and typical wildlife spans. Also find more info about Dungeness Crab

Important distinctions between Snow crab and Dungeness crab


For instance, Dungeness crabs often measure between two and three pounds, and snow crabs usually measure from three to four pounds. The physique of a snow crab, nonetheless, is often tinier than that of a Dungeness crab. Why, then, do snow crabs usually measure more than Dungeness crabs? This is probably because snow crab legs are significantly bigger than Dungeness crab legs. On the other hand, a Dungeness crab’s body typically measures 8 to 10 inches long, compared to a snow crab’s maximum growth size of 6 to 8 inches.

Environment and Setting

The geographic range and environmental choices of Dungeness crabs and snow crabs are very different. Dungeness crabs’ dwell in more temperate regions, frequently off the coast of California or England, while snow crabs can only be found in northern waters, including the Pacific and the Atlantic. In actuality, the Dungeness region of England is where Dungeness crabs were originally found, hence their name.  These types of crabs vary from each other in their preferred habitats. The Dungeness crab and snow crab both like to dig in muddy or sandy waters; however, the Dungeness crab may be found at far greater depths. Additionally, Dungeness crabs favour estuaries and shallow seas, while snow crabs often choose more rugged environments.


You might find it hard to believe, but the Dungeness crab and snow crab can be distinguished from one another immediately. This is because the snow crab’s legs are significantly longer than a Dungeness crab’s legs. Furthermore, as these crabs get older, their colourations diverge from one another. Let us expand on this now.  Dungeness crabs are a rusty orange colour for most of their lives, in contrast to snow crabs, which are only orange or red when they are young. Dungeness crabs can also be purple, whereas snow crabs age to become olive-shaded or have darker markings. If you are looking for a decent, delicious snow crab, this is your sign.


The life expectancy of a Dungeness crab is typically between eight and thirteen years, but that of a snow crab is often between 15 and 20 years. Even though it is uncommon for either of these two types of crabs to survive longer than 5 to 7 years overall, there is a rather considerable longevity difference between these two crabs.

Clare Louise