Chionoecetes opilio (top) and C. bairdi (bottom) from the eastern Bering Sea
Bairdis (Chionoecetes bairdi), or Tanners, are cousins of snow crabs and support fisheries both in southeast Alaska and the eastern Bering Sea (EBS) (yes, they’re called Tanners, even though ‘Tanner’ can also refer to other Chionoecetes crabs).
But bairdis like to intermingle and produce hybrids with their opi cousins!
hybrids found in the EBS - blacked out b/c it's too awful to see
Which leads me to the question: WHY?
They have buck teeth. Their eyes are red. Even my male opies won’t touch their females in the lab:
HUGE female bairdi next to a sweet little female opi
you can see the fear in her eyes
They must have amazing personalities.
Oh, who am I kidding, I love bairdis almost as much as I love opies!