Identifying Florida Blue Crab:
The Blue Crab is a decapod, meaning they have ten appendages. In the front, they have a pair of chalae or claws. The rear pair of legs have a fan-like end, kind of like a tail. Their legs are blue, with the tips of their claws red or orange, depending on sex. The body is a blue-green color. The underside is lighter in color, almost white.
Males and females can be distinguished by examining their underside. In the center, toward the rear of the crab is the "apron". In males, the apron is narrow, with a pointed tip, aiming toward the head of the crab. Male's claw tips are red. In females, the apron is wide and in a curved shape, also with a pointed tip, aiming to the front of the abdomen. Female's claw tips are orange.
Blue Crabs are found throughout the Atlantic coast and in the Gulf of Mexico in the United States. They spend most of their lives in brackish water, starting out in waters of high salinity. Salinity has a high impact on the crabs' mating, migration and molting activities. For example, when molting a new shell, crabs prefer low salinity. Female's migration after mating moves toward high salinity waters for spawning. They are opportunistic omnivores, eating on thin-shelled molluscs, sea worms, small fish, plants, and even sea creature waste.
Blue Crab Fun Facts:
- The scientific name, Callinectes Sapidus, means "Savory, Beautiful Swimmer".
- Blue Crab can molt 25 times in their lives.
- Before mating, females abdominal apron is triangular in shape. After spawning and molting, the abdominal apron has more of a half circle shape.
- Females mate only once in their lives.
- A brood can contain up to 2 million eggs.
- Holiday Seafood keeps their Blue Crab live. Customers can pick out their choice of crab from the live tank.