Fisheries Infosite

King Crab South-East (Chatham Rise) (KIC4)
Scientific name
Lithodes murrayi, Neolithodes brodiei

Physical characteristics

There are two species of King Crab: Lithodes murrayi, which is dark purple-red and pear shaped, and can grow to a maximum carapace length of 200 mm; Neolithodes brodiei is smaller and a uniform bright red colour with maximum carapace length of 180 mm.

Life cycle

Both species of King Crab are serial spawners, with spawning occuring in summer or autumn.


L. murrayi are found at depths of 120-700 m from the east cost of Northland to southern areas of the Campbell Plateau. N. brodiei are found at depths of 800-1000 m from Three Kings Island to the Campbell Plateau. Both species feed on a variety of invertebrates.

Key statistics
Reported commercial catch1 (tonnes)
Quota value estimate2 (NZ$m)
Exports estimate2 (NZ$m)
1 Reported commercial catch is calculated for the 12 month period to 30/09/2025
2 Quota value and exports are calculated pro-rata to reported commercial catch for the 12 month period to 30/09/2025