How are blue crabs born?
They over-winter before spawning by burrowing in the mud. Most females spawn for the first time two to nine months after mating, usually from May through August the following season. The female extrudes fertilized eggs into a cohesive mass, or “sponge,” that remains attached to her abdomen until the larvae emerge.
Are blue crabs actually blue?
The blue crab is so named because of its sapphire-tinted claws. Its shell, or carapace, is actually a mottled brownish color, and mature females have red highlights on the tips of their pincers.
Do blue crabs lay eggs or give birth?
Once the crabs mate, an egg mass develops beneath the female’s apron. Eggs are fertilized as they pass out of the crab’s body and are deposited under the apron. After one to two weeks the eggs hatch into zoea larvae.
What kind of body does a blue crab have?
Blue crabs have blue legs and claws and olive to grayish blue bodies. The color comes mainly from the blue pigment alpha-crustacyanin and the red pigment astaxanthin. When blue crabs are cooked, heat deactivates the blue pigment and turns the crab red. Mature crabs are about 9 inches wide, 4 inches long, and weigh one to two pounds.
Is the crab a mammal or a crustacean?
No. All crabs are crustaceans.Mammals have fur or hair, are warm blooded and give birth.Crustaceans are cold blooded, lay eggs and have an external skeleton (shell). Do pet fiddler crabs have eggs?
Why are blue crabs on the Atlantic coast declining?
Blue crab populations naturally fluctuate, mainly in response to temperature and weather conditions. The continuing decline may be due to a combination of threats, which include disease, overharvesting, climate change, pollution, and habitat degradation . Blue crabs are commercially important along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.
How long does it take for a blue crab to reach maturity?
The larvae or zoea grow and molt over 25 times before maturing and returning to estuaries and salt marshes to breed. In warm water, crabs reach maturity in 12 months. In cooler water, maturity takes up to 18 months. The blue crab lifespan ranges between 1 and 4 years.
Where do blue crabs live in the Gulf of Mexico?
The blue crab is a highly sought-after shellfish. Blue crabs live up and down the Atlantic Coast and in the Gulf of Mexico and are caught by both commercial and recreational fishermen. Its scientific name— Callinectes sapidus —translated from Latin means ‘beautiful savory swimmer.’ Blue crabs are the most valuable fishery in the Chesapeake Bay.
What’s the scientific name for the blue crab?
The blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) is known for its color and delicious flavor. The crab’s scientific name means “savory beautiful swimmer.” While blue crabs do have sapphire blue claws, their bodies are usually duller in color. Fast Facts: Blue Crab
What kind of claws does a blue crab have?
Females have red-tipped claws. If the crab is flipped over, the shape of the folded surface of the belly (the apron) reveals the animal’s approximate age and sex. Male aprons are t-shaped or resemble the Washington Monument. Mature female aprons are rounded and resemble the United States Capitol building.
How big is a blue crab when it is full grown?
The claws on the adult female blue crab are tipped with red. Males can be seven to eight inches (18 to 20 centimeters) across, while females are a bit smaller in size. The blue crab is widely distributed along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, from Nova Scotia through the Gulf of Mexico and as far south as Uruguay.