portunids. Females have broad triangular or rounded aprons and red fingers on the chelae, whereas in the male the abdominal flap, or apron, is shaped like an inverted "T". can grow to 25 cm in carapace length (CL), with carapace width being approximately twice the length. Growth is rapid during the first summer, with crabs growing from 70-100 mm CL. By the second year, maturity is reached at carapace lengths of 120-170 mm. grows to adult size after 18 to 20 molts. (Hill, 2004; Steele, 1979; Texas Parks and Wildlife, 2009)is easily identified by its body color which is generally a bright blue along the frontal area, especially along the chelipeds (the appendages bearing a "chela" or pincher-like claw). The remainder of the body is shaded an olive brown color. To accommodate swimming, the fifth leg is adapted to a paddle-like shape, as is the same with other
Spawning peaks in (Hill, 2004)are closely associated with the region they inhabit. Unlike males, female mate only once in their lifetime, after the pubertal or terminal molt. When approaching this final molt, females attract males by releasing a pheromone in their urine. Male crabs compete for females and until molting occurs they will protect them. At this time mating occurs, and may last as long as 5-12 hours.
Males tend to stay and protect the female until she has grown her hard shell after molting, but males have no interaction with the young. The female will protect the young while they hatch, but do not have a significant role in parenting. This is because there are so many eggs, and the maturing time is much too long for her to watch over them. They have to be independent from the time they hatch, which is why most of them will die before they reach the adult age. (Hill, 2004)
Parasites are very common on (Texas Parks and Wildlife, 2009). Barnacles, worms and leeches attach themselves to the outer shell; small animals called isopods live in the gills or on the abdomen; and small worms live in the muscles. Although is a host to many parasites, most of these do not affect the life of the crab.
The main positive economic importance of (Texas Parks and Wildlife, 2009)for humans is for food. The blue crab is often eaten because the meat is tasty and can be prepared in a number of ways. Commercially, crabs are captured in traps that are rectangular, two feet wide, and are made of wire. The crabs are lured in by being baited with freshly dead fish. In some areas, crabs are also caught in trawls and by trotlines. Many people also crab since it is easy and inexpensive. Although there aren't any harvest limits, there is a 5-inch minimum body width as measured from spine to spine.
There are no known adverse effects ofon humans.
samantha bodden (author), University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Christopher Yahnke (editor), University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Renee Mulcrone (editor), Special Projects.
living in sub-Saharan Africa (south of 30 degrees north) and Madagascar.
living in the Nearctic biogeographic province, the northern part of the New World. This includes Greenland, the Canadian Arctic islands, and all of the North American as far south as the highlands of central Mexico.
living in the southern part of the New World. In other words, Central and South America.
living in the northern part of the Old World. In otherwords, Europe and Asia and northern Africa.
having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
an animal that mainly eats meat
uses smells or other chemicals to communicate
animals which must use heat acquired from the environment and behavioral adaptations to regulate body temperature
an area where a freshwater river meets the ocean and tidal influences result in fluctuations in salinity.
union of egg and spermatozoan
an animal that mainly eats leaves.
A substance that provides both nutrients and energy to a living thing.
mainly lives in water that is not salty.
An animal that eats mainly plants or parts of plants.
having a body temperature that fluctuates with that of the immediate environment; having no mechanism or a poorly developed mechanism for regulating internal body temperature.
fertilization takes place within the female's body
referring to animal species that have been transported to and established populations in regions outside of their natural range, usually through human action.
A large change in the shape or structure of an animal that happens as the animal grows. In insects, "incomplete metamorphosis" is when young animals are similar to adults and change gradually into the adult form, and "complete metamorphosis" is when there is a profound change between larval and adult forms. Butterflies have complete metamorphosis, grasshoppers have incomplete metamorphosis.
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
specialized for swimming
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
an animal that mainly eats all kinds of things, including plants and animals
reproduction in which eggs develop within the maternal body without additional nourishment from the parent and hatch within the parent or immediately after laying.
an animal that mainly eats fish
having more than one female as a mate at one time
mainly lives in oceans, seas, or other bodies of salt water.
an animal that mainly eats dead animals
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
uses touch to communicate
that region of the Earth between 23.5 degrees North and 60 degrees North (between the Tropic of Cancer and the Arctic Circle) and between 23.5 degrees South and 60 degrees South (between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Antarctic Circle).
the region of the earth that surrounds the equator, from 23.5 degrees north to 23.5 degrees south.
uses sight to communicate
breeding takes place throughout the year
Baldwin, J., S. Johnson. 2009. The importance of color in mate choice of the blue crab Callinectes sapidus. Journal of Experimental Biology, 212: 3762-3768. Accessed June 22, 2011 at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19880739.
Hill, K. 2004. "Species name: Callinectes sapidus (blue crab)" (On-line). Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce. Accessed June 22, 2011 at http://www.sms.si.edu/irlspec/callin_sapidu.htm.
Jivoff, P., A. Hines. 2003. "Reproductive biology of blue crabs" (On-line). Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. Accessed June 22, 2011 at http://www.serc.si.edu/labs/fish_invert_ecology/bluecrab/reproduction.aspx.
Shapiro, L. 2011. "Callinectes sapidus M. J. Rathbun, 189" (On-line). EOL species rapid response. Accessed June 22, 2011 at http://eolspecies.lifedesks.org/pages/18927.
Steele, P. 1979. "A synopsis of the biology of the blue crab Callinectes sapidus Rathbun in Florida" (On-line pdf). Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Accessed June 22, 2011 at http://research.myfwc.com/engine/download_redirection_process.asp?file=79steele_1436.pdf&objid=20754&dltype=publication.
Texas Parks and Wildlife, 2009. "Blue crab (Callinectes sapidus)" (On-line). Texas Park and Wildlife. Accessed June 22, 2011 at http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/huntwild/wild/species/bluecrab/.
Zinski, S. 2006. "Blue crab spawning" (On-line). Accessed June 22, 2011 at http://www.bluecrab.info/spawning.html.