Difference Between Bairdi Crab and Opilio Crab

By: | Updated: Nov-28, 2021
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Crab, as the name suggests, is a crustacean that belongs to the infraorder Brachyura. The body of a crab is divided into thorax and abdomen. The limbs are set in rings on the thorax. Crabs have pincers and chelae, and they can climb and swim. The shell of a crab is divided into three parts: the carapace, the abdomen, and the legs. The color of a crab is also variable. It may be brown, red, orange, or white. The most common species of crabs are blue crab, stone crab, and shrimp crab. They can be eaten fresh or cooked in different ways such as boiled, fried or steamed.

Summary Table

Bairdi Crab Opilio Crab
 Light brown Greenish-brown
Freshwater crab Salt water crab
Tastes less sweet and mild Taste sweeter

Cuisines made from crabs include crab meat, crab soup, crab cakes, and boiled crabs. Crabs are considered to be high in nutritional value. Crab meat is rich in protein and is considered to be an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. And, among the different types of crabs, stone crab is considered to be the most delicious.

You might also have heard of the name Bairdi crab or Opilio crab, but the two types of crabs are commonly confused. So, to avoid any confusion, it is important to know the difference between the two. So what are the differences between Bairdi crab and Opilio crab? What are the differences between the two crabs and other crabs? And what are the characteristics that differentiate Bairdi crab from Opilio crab?

In this article, we will answer all these questions and more. We will also look at the characteristics of Bairdi crab and Opilio crab, their habitats, and how they are used in cuisines.

Difference Between Bairdi Crab and Opilio Crab

What is Bairdi Crab?

Bairdi crab is a small, red crab that is often used in various dishes in various parts of the world. It has a sharp flavor and a meaty texture. Bairdi crab is a red-brown color and usually weighs about 4 to 5 ounces.

It has a sharp flavor and a meaty texture. Bairdi crab is a red-brown color and usually weighs about 4 to 5 ounces. It has been traditionally eaten by the people of Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Odisha, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.

Bairdi Crabs are very popular in India and they are often found in restaurants. The Bairdi crab is also available in the US and is widely used in restaurants.

What is Opilio Crab?

Opilio crab is a member of the family Cantharidae. It is found in the tropical and subtropical waters of the Pacific Ocean. The Opilio crab has many common names such as prawn, prawn fiddler, and fiddler crab. The Opilio crab can be easily distinguished from other crabs by its hard shell and bony head which can be dislodged by a strong blow. It is also known as the prawns because it looks like a small shrimp or prawn.

The Opilio crab belongs to the genus Opilio which contains about 25 species of crustaceans. The genus Opilio is commonly found in tropical and subtropical waters of the Pacific Ocean and Atlantic Ocean, including Hawaii, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Papua New Guinea. The Opilio crabs are also called thresher or fiddler crabs because they have hard bony heads which can be dislodged by a strong blow with their claws. They are also known as Hawaiian fiddlers because they have soft shells on their backs which are often decorated with colored rings.

The Opilio crab has a very similar appearance to the other fiddler crabs. It has a shell with 5 large claws on its first pair of legs. The first pair of legs are long and thick. The Opilio crab also has 2 pairs of thoracic legs which are similar to other fiddler crabs. The Opilio crab has very strong jaws which can easily crush shells, stones, or crustaceans. Its body is usually light yellow or green in color. The Opilio crab also has a hard shell which is composed of calcite.

How are They Related?

Before we discuss the differences between Bairdi crab and Opilio crab, let us understand how they are related. The following is a list of characteristics that make them one and the same.

  1. Scientific Names

Bairdi crab and Opilio crab are related because they both belong to the same family of crustaceans. The family name is Bairdiidae. Bairdi crab and Opilio crab are also in the same genus, Bairdi.

  1. Body Size

The body size of Bairdi crab and Opilio crab is also similar. They both have a body size of up to 10 cm.

  1. Body Structure

Bairdi crab and Opilio crab both have a flattened body with a large head and a pair of antennae. The shape of their bodies is different though. Bairdi crab has a shell that is hard and thick, while Opilio crab has a soft shell.

  1. Habitat

Bairdi crab and Opilio crab are both found in the oceans of the world.

  1. Food

Bairdi crab and Opilio crab are both crustaceans that are used in cuisines. Their flesh is also eaten by humans. Bairdi crab is cooked while Opilio crab is usually eaten raw.

What are the Differences?

Now, let’s look at the differences between Bairdi crab and Opilio crab.

  1. Appearances

The most obvious difference between Bairdi crab and Opilio crab is their appearance. The former is light brown, while the latter is greenish-brown.

  1. Habitats

The habitat of Bairdi crabs is fresh water. The habitat of Opilio crab is salt water.

  1. Size

The size of Bairdi crab is around 1.5-2 inches, while the size of Opilio crab is around 3-4 inches. However, this difference may not be very clear to you, as Opilio crab is also referred to as soft shell crab.

  1. Their Life Cycle

The life cycle of Bairdi crabs is that they spend their time in freshwater, then go to salt water for breeding. On the other hand, the life cycle of Opilio crabs is that they spend their time in salt water, then go to freshwater for breeding.

  1. The Taste

In general, the crabmeat of Bairdi crab is less expensive than that of Opilio crab. But, as a rule, Bairdi crab is less sweet and mild than Opilio crab.

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