Facts about Snow Crabs, "Scientific name for Snow Crab is Chionoecetes opilio". Snow Crab is a variety of crab that belongs to the genus Chionoecetes of the Oregoniidae family. The Snow Crab are called by different names in different countries. They mostly live in the northern Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The Snow Crabs are caught as far as the northern parts of the Arctic Ocean, ranging from Newfoundland to Greenland, in the northern parts of Norway in the Atlantic Ocean, and across the Pacific Ocean, as well as the Bering Sea, the Sea of Japan, Norton Sound, the Gulf of Alaska, and even as far as the southern parts of California.
An adult Snow Crab is capable of growing to a maximum size of 3 19/32 inches (91 mm), and they are the most generally trapped crabs. The Snow Crab are frequently caught by trawling or with traps, particularly around Newfoundland and Canada,
The Snow crab has an equally elongated and broad carapace, or defensive shell-covering, over their body. Their tubercles, or the physical projections on their case, are fairly enclosed in calcium deposits, and the Snow Crab have hooked setae, which are firm, yet spongy, organs similar to the hair on their claws. The Snow Crabs boast a horizontal rostrum at the front of their carapace, and it is basically just an annex of the firm, shell jacket of the carapace and it has two even horns alienated by a gap.
The Snow crab has triangular spines and well-defined bronchial and gastric areas internally. The Snow Crabs as well, boast small granules down the border of their body, except their intestinal area. The first three walking legs of the Snow Crab are compressed, and their pincers, or chelipeds, are generally smaller, or equivalent to the walking legs. The Snow Crab is iridescent and varies in color from tan to light red color on top and vary from yellow to white color on the base, and is vivid white color on the sides of their feet.
The Snow Crab variety is mostly found in the deep-sea's benthic ridge and higher slope, in the muddy and sandy bottoms, and in the shallow waters at a depth of 66 feet (20 meters) and at a maximum depth of 3900 feet (1,200 meters). The majority of the Snow Crabs can be seen in the Atlantic waters at a depth, ranging from 230 feet to 920 feet (70 m to 80 m).
There are interesting dissimilarities in where the female and the male Snow Crab are found in the sea depths. Senescent adult and small adult male Snow Crabs occur mostly at in-between depths over the major parts of the year. Usually big and tough adult male Snow Crabs are found generally at depths more than 260 feet (80 m), whereas the female Snow Crabs are gregarious and they assemble at depths, ranging from 200 feet to 390 feet (60 m to 120 m).
The Snow Crab feeds on other invertebrates that live in the benthic ridge of the ocean, such as bivalves, crustaceans, polychaetes, brittle stars, and even foraminiferans and phytobenthos.
The Snow Crab is a scavenger eater, and excluding preying on other benthic layer invertebrates, the Snow Crabs prey on mollusks and annelid worms, as well. Usually, male Snow Crabs establish to be superior predators than the mature females, and their prey type counts on their body size, with smaller size Snow Crab feeding mostly on ophiuroids and amphipods, whereas the biggest Snow Crabs mainly feed on crustacean decapods, annelids and fish. Sometimes, cannibalism can also be found among the Snow Crab varieties, more frequently by in-between-sized female Snow Crabs.