Do you want to be an expert on crabs and know if you are buying a male or a female? We tell you!

The crab from the Ría de Arousa, an authentic treasure of the sea, is revered in Galician gastronomy for its exquisiteness and unmatched flavor. In this article, we explore the fascinating life of the crab in the estuary and we will learn to differentiate between males and females, revealing one of the best kept secrets of this crustacean.


The Ría de Arousa, with its calm waters rich in nutrients, is the perfect place for crab. This crustacean lives on the seabed, among rocks and algae, where it finds shelter and food. Their life develops in harmony with the ecosystem of the estuary, contributing to its biodiversity.

Ruta Artes de Pesca


The crab from the Ría de Arousa is appreciated for its delicate meat and intense flavor. Its capture is carried out in a sustainable and selective manner, preserving the population of this seafood and the balance of the ecosystem. Each crab is a true feast for food lovers.


At first glance, the distinction between male and female crabs may seem subtle, but there are notable differences. Males usually have a wider shell and robust pincers. In contrast, females have a longer and slender shell.

  • Characteristics of the Males:
    • Wide and flatter shell.
    • Strong and robust tweezers.
    • Abdomen in the shape of an inverted triangle.
  • Characteristics of Females::
    • Longer and more stylized carapace.
    • Thinner and less robust tweezers.
    • Wider and rounder abdomen

Macho de Centolla de la Ría



Distinguishing between males and females is essential for the conservation of the crab. Fishing regulation is based on this differentiation, establishing minimum sizes and quotas by gender. This practice ensures the sustainability of the species and the continuity of this gastronomic tradition.

The crab from the Ría de Arousa is a gift from the sea that we must appreciate and preserve. Its unique flavor and the possibility of differentiating males from females are two aspects that add a special touch to this gastronomic gem. By knowing and respecting these differences, we contribute to the conservation of the crab and guarantee its presence on our table for many more seasons.

If you want to know up close how this seafood is caught, on our Fishing Arts route, you will be able to know all the details!