Chionoecetes is a genus of crabs that live in the cold waters of the northern Pacific and Atlantic Oceans .
Other names for crabs in this genus include “queen crab” (in Canada) and “spider crab” – they are known by different names in different areas of the world.
Yeongdeok great crab, Chionoecetes opilio
The generic name Chionoecetes means snow (chio) inhabitant (ioketes); opilio means shepherd, and C. opilio is the primary species referred to as snow crab. Marketing strategies, however, employ snow crab for anything in the genus Chionoecetes.
Snow crab are caught as far north as the Arctic Ocean, from Newfoundland to Greenland and north of Norway in the Atlantic Ocean, and across the Pacific Ocean, including the Sea of Japan, the Bering Sea, the Gulf of Alaska, Norton Sound, and even as far south as California for Chionoecetes bairdi.