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Spanner Crab (Ranina Ranina) Photographs and Information



Also known as Frog Crab and Red Frog Crab and Curacha Crab, Kona Crab (USA)

Spanner Crabs have elongated shells, which is very broad at the front.  The first legs are "spanner" shaped and the rest are flattened and have numerous short bristles.

The spanner crab's body colour varies from orange to red.

Spanner Crabs prefer bare sandy areas.  They inhabit intertidal waters to depths of more than 100m, from sheltered bays to surf areas.

Spanner crabs remain completely buried in the sand for most of the day, but they emerge rapidly when food appears.  Spanner crabs are opportunistic feeders, ie., they eat what ever is available.  Adults eat heart sea-urchins and a variety of small bivalve molluscs, crustaceans, polychaete worms and fish.  Spanner crabs are often found in areas where there is an intensive night time prawn fishery, suggesting that discards from the trawl catch may form a significant part of their diet.

There is evidence that sharks and turtles feed on spanner crabs and turtles take advantage of crabs being caught in nets. 

Spanner Crabs are available wild-caught, these marine dwellers are found from close inshore to at least 100m, usually buried in sand from where they attack small bottom-dwelling fish. Their long, almost goblet-shaped, bright orange shells (even when uncooked) and spanner-shaped front claws are quite distinctive. Found around most of the Australian coast from NSW north to southern WA, they are caught commercially, mainly using dillies, but also as a bycatch of Prawn trawling, off southern Queensland and northern NSW. The fishery has increased greatly since the early 1980s.
 

Did you know? Spanner Crabs move in a forwards-backwards motion, unlike other crabs who move sideways.

Did you know? This large crab is red in colour and stays the same colour when cooked.

spanner crab, photo of spanner crab, Ranina Ranina, crab

Map showing where spanner crab are found in Australian waters.

Scientific Name Ranina Ranina
Location East & West Coasts of Australia
Season All year round
Size To 150mm carapace length & 900 grams
Australian Species Code 00 702002
Taste, Texture -

 

 

Nutritional Information
For every 100 grams raw product
for Crab meat.

Kilojoules na
Cholesterol 58 mg
Sodium na
Total fat (oil) 0.9 g
Saturated fat 22% of total fat
Monounsaturated fat 20% of total fat
Polyunsaturated fat 57% of total fat
Omega-3, EPA 137 mg
Omega-3, DHA 90 mg
Omega-6, AA 86 mg

Other Spanner Crab Links:

CRAB RECIPES

Recipes using Crab and Crabmeat from How To Cook Fish

Exporters of Crab
Importers of Crab
Processors of Crab
Wholesale Suppliers of Crab
Seafood Agents for Crab


photo of a spanner crab, whole spanner crab

Commercial Fishing for Spanner Crabs

Spanner Crab, Frog Crab

Commercial Fishing for Spanner Crabs - Commercial Fishing Supplies

Video Showing A Spanner Crab - how it moves and burrows:

Video from Queensland Seafood about Spanner Crab Fishing:

Male and female crab identification


crab sex - illustration of male and female crab identification

 


Fishing for Spanner Crabs:

Spanner crabs remain completely buried in the sand for most of the day, but they emerge rapidly when food appears.  Spanner crabs are opportunistic feeders, ie., they eat what ever is available.  Adults eat heart sea-urchins and a variety of small bivalve molluscs, crustaceans, polychaete worms and fish.  Spanner crabs are often found in areas where there is an intensive night time prawn fishery, suggesting that discards from the trawl catch may form a significant part of their diet.


Cooking Spanner Crabs:

Spanner crab meat is coarser in texture than other species and known for its sweet flavour. They average about 400g and are usually sold cooked, although they can occasionally be found live. Although they only yield 25% meat, they are lower priced than other Crabs and some chefs prefer their distinctive flavour. This low- to medium-priced crab species offers many cooking alternatives and adds a delicate crab flavour to a variety of dishes. When this crab is cooked whole, its bright orange shell is very attractive served on a buffet or platterFor Asian-style cooking, spanner crabs make excellent clear consommes or Thai-style broths, and are a good choice as an ingredient for won tons and dumplings.


Commercial Fishing for Spanner Crabs:

Spanner Crabs  are caught commercially, mainly using dillies, but also as a bycatch of Prawn trawling, off southern Queensland and northern NSW. The fishery has increased greatly since the early 1980s. Commercial spanner crab fishers are required by law to use dillies - frames with netting stretched across them - no more than 1 metre square in size. A bait bag containing three or four bait fish is attached to each dilly. Ten or 15 dillies are clipped to a trotline by a short rope at about 50-metre intervals. Each trotline is marked by a flagged buoy. Spanner crabs are harvested all year round, except during a one-month spawning season from 20 November to 20 December. Most of the Queensland catch is taken in deep oceanic waters south of Yeppoon.  Exporters, Importers, Processors and suppliers of Spanner Crab are listed.


 

See Also:   Crab,   3 Spot Crab,    Blue Swimming Crab,    Brown Crab,   Common Swimming Crab,   Dungeness Crab,   Jonah Crab,   King Crab,   Sea Crab,   Snow Crab,   Softshell Crab,   Spanner Crab,   Spider Crab,   Stone Crab,   Velvet Crab,   Canned Crabmeat

 

 

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