Notably, this particular crab has claws and legs that are blue with hints of red, but the carapace, or the main part of the crab, displays a brown or gray color. It has a wide carapace, with long, pointed spines projecting from the widest point on each side. Between the eyes and this spine there is a row of sharp miniature spines. By studying the abdomen, found on the underside of the crab, we can identify the sex of the Blue Crab. The abdomen of males are long and slender, while the females’ are wide and rounded. Studying the coloration of the tip of their claws can also identify the sex of these crabs. The tip of females’ claws are red and the males’ are blue. Because of this they are known as sexually dimorphic, meaning their sexes can easily be identified due to differences in color, shape, size, and structure.
On a rather interesting note, this crab is not eaten in the Bahamas, but in the mid-Atlantic region it is seen as the most sought-after shellfish for culinary usage. In areas such as Chesapeake Bay it is their most valuable catch. These aren’t your regular crabs that can be caught using your hands and feet. They’re quite fast. They use their strong swimming legs, found at the very back, to easily and swiftly glide across the ocean floor. Also because they’re always on the defense they can be quite aggressive. So watch out for these beautiful crabs on your next swim.
Fun fact: Female Blue Crabs only mate once during their lifetime!
Done by: Tavano Sweeting