Bairdi Crab vs Opilio Crab (With Table)

The Bairdi and the Opilio crabs are very different from one another. The difference between these two is the size. Bairdi crabs are larger in size than the Opilio crabs. Both of these crabs are very few in number and Bairdi is hard to find. In this article, we will study more about Bairdi Crab vs Opilio Crab

Comparison Table: Bairdi Crab vs Opilio Crab

CriteriaBairdi CrabOpilio Crab
Method of capturingBairdi crabs are captured using crab pots which act as traps to catch the crabs.The trawling method is used to catch Opilio crabs.
SizeBairdi crabs are bigger in sizeOpilio crabs are smaller than the Bairdi crabs
Amount of meatHave a lot of meat in them.Do not have a lot of meat in them.
Distinctive Physical featuresBairdi crabs have short tail-like features.There are four long pairs of legs in Opilio crabs.
TasteBairdi crabs have a sweet flavor.Opilio crabs do not have any kind of sweet flavor.
Bairdi Crab vs Opilio Crab Table
Bairdi Crab vs Opilio Crab
Difference between Bairdi Crab and Opilio Crab

Our planet earth is filled with fascinating creatures. Zoologists and scientists have studied different kinds of species to understand multiple characteristics. While most of the species are known to us, there are some which are yet to be discovered.

The early civilization started near the water bodies where they spent their lives consuming seafood. Fish, oysters, and crabs are very important sources of food.  Crabs have evolved around four times since the earth was formed. Crabs are consumed because of their flavor and taste. There are multiple varieties of crabs out of which the Bairdi crab and the Opilio crabs are the most prominent ones.

About Bairdi Crabs

Bairdi Crabs
Bairdi Crabs

Bairdi crabs belong to the species of Snow Crabs. These are found in the Bering Sea of the Pacific Ocean. The name snow crab is given to the Chinoecetes crabs which are found in the Pacific and the Atlantic Ocean. The scientific name of Bairdi crabs is Chionoecetes Bairdi. They are also known as the Tanner crab. These crabs live for around 10 years. The adult crab weighs around 1.8 kilograms.

The incubation period of the female Bairdi crab is 12 months before hatching. The female crabs hatch during the springtime. The larva of the crab swims for a while. After a period of two months, the larva loses the capacity to swim and finally settles down at the bed of the sea. These crabs feed on sea worms and clams. The Bairdi crabs are popular for their subtly sweet flavor. Using a crab trap called crab pots, the Tanner crabs are caught. The method came into existence in the early 1950s.

This cage-like structure called the crab pot lures the crab using food items and catches it. The crabs are mostly captured for recreational purposes but these are also used for human consumption.

An important feature of the Bairdi crabs is their short tail. Because of the size, it is very difficult to differentiate between a Bairdi crab and an Opilio crab. The Bairdi crabs are slightly bigger than the other Chionoecetes varieties. It has a lot of meat in them as compared to the other varieties of crabs found in the Pacific and the Atlantic Ocean.

About Opilio Crabs

Opilio Crabs
Opilio Crabs

This variety of crab is found in the Bering Sea. It is also known as the snow crab. The scientific name of the Opilio crabs is Chionoecetes Opilio. In the food markets, people refer to them as Opies. A different method is used to catch these crabs. The Opilio crabs are captured using the Trawling method. They are smaller in size and have long tails.

Unlike the Bairdi crabs, Opilio crabs are very easy to find. The male Opilio crabs are bigger than the female ones, about twice the size. The weight of an Opilio crab can go as high as  1.3 kilograms. The female crabs on the other hand can weigh around half a kilo.

These crabs live from a lifespan of 5 to 6 years. Around one and a half lakh eggs are carried by the female crabs and these are laid deep into the ocean. The Opilio crabs feed on the worms but sometimes they are seen feeding on the big annelids.

Even though the weight of the crab is more, the quantity of meat in their body is very less. When compared to the other varieties of crabs, it is less in meat content and smaller in size. Even though they are smaller in size, because of their four pairs of legs, they tend to appear bigger in size.

The crabs are seen in a range of beautiful colors such as orange and red on the back and white at the bottom. It is caught in large quantities during the month of January.

Do you know? Swan vs Goose

Difference Between Bairdi Crabs and Opilio Crabs

1) Meat content

There is a difference in the content of meat present in the crabs. Bairdi crabs have more meat in them as compared to the Opilio crab.

2) Size of the tail

Bairdi crabs have short tails. Opilio crabs have longer tails.

3) Method of capturing

Bairdi crabs are caught using traps, where the crab pots act as traps. Opilio crabs are captured like fishes, the method is known as trawling.

4) Size

Bairdi crabs are big in size. Opilio crabs are smaller in size when compared to the Bairdi crabs.

5) Taste

Both the crabs are hard to find during certain seasons. Bairdi crabs are consumed because of their sweet flavor. Opilio crabs don’t have a sweet taste.

Do you know? Difference Between Korat and Russian Blue


In the food market, the Bairdi and the Opilio crabs are considered almost the same. These are sold as snow crabs and share the same space in the containers. There is a difference in terms of kilograms and the meat content. The Bairdi crabs are bought for their sweet taste. The growth period and pattern of the larva remain the same for both the crabs. After the larva stage is over, the Opilios take around 10 stages to completely become an adult. They also have more potential in terms of reproduction.

Leave a Comment