Cryptolithodes sitchensis Brandt, 1853
Common name(s): Umbrella crab, Turtle crab, Sitka crab
|Cryptolithodes sitchensis from 15 m depth, Sares Head|
|(Photo by: Dave Cowles, 2001)|
How to Distinguish from Similar Species: Cryptolithodes typicus has a similar body shape but has a rostrum that is widest at the base, the propodus of its chela is rough, and the margins of its abdominal plates have raised margins.
Geographical Range: Torch Bay, Alaska to Point Loma (San Diego), CA
Depth Range: Intertidal to 15 m
Habitat: Rocky shores, usually on outer coast. Nestles under rocks or in crevices in algae-covered bedrock, low intertidal and subtidal
Biology/Natural History: This species, like Cryptolithodes typicus, is very slow moving. Feeds on upright coralline algae such as Corallina, Calliarthron, and Bossiella. Tends to be found at shallower depths than C. typicus is.
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Gotshall and Laurent, 1979
Morris et al., 1980
O'Clair and O'Clair, 1993
Cryptolithodes sitchensis underside. Note that the propodus of the chela is smooth, and that the abdominal plates do not have raised margins. The underside of the carapace is nearly always white.
Photo by Dave Cowles, July 2001