Blue crabs are a sizeable aquatic crab species with a Blue-green coloration and white underbelly. This species has three pairs of walking legs and one pair of claws. The males have a characteristic blue-tipped claw, while the females have red-tipped claws. The carapace (shell) of mature crabs can measure up to 9 inches (23 cm) in width.
- Omnivorous scavengers that feed on a variety of prey including small fish, clams, snails, and algae
- Can be aggressive and territorial, especially during mating season
- Known for their ability to regenerate lost limbs
- Highly adaptable to changing environmental conditions
- Native to the Western Atlantic Ocean, from Nova Scotia to Argentina
- Can be found in a variety of habitats, including salt marshes, estuaries, and shallow coastal waters
- Prefer brackish waters (mix of saltwater and freshwater) for spawning and juvenile development
- Female crabs mate once in their lifetime and can produce up to 2 million eggs per season
- Eggs hatch into planktonic larvae and go through several molts before settling into juvenile form
- Juvenile crabs undergo several molts before reaching maturity at around 1-2 years of age
- Lifespan is typically 2-3 years in the wild, but can be longer in captivity
- The blue crab is considered a delicacy in many parts of the world, especially in the Chesapeake Bay region of the eastern United States.
- During the molting process, blue crabs are soft and vulnerable to predators. They typically hide in mud or burrows until their shell hardens again.
- The blue crab has a unique respiratory system that allows it to breathe air through its gills, enabling it to survive in low-oxygen environments.