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Blue Crab

blue crab

Blue Crab (Callinectes sapidus), belongs to the Portunidae family and are known world-wide for its wonderful taste. Their scientific name has been taken from Greek word, which means "beautiful savory swimmer". This is one of the most interesting creatures of the sea world.

Physical Characteristics
These species are bluish to grayish green though they have their name as blue crab. The claws of these species are of blue. The shell of this creature is about 7 inches long and weighs up to (1 to 2) pounds. The back of these species is dark or brownish green and consists of large spines. The males and females of these species can be distinguished in two ways. The female have the bright orange-red tips on their claws. Males have t-shapes abdomens whereas the females have triangular abdomens. These species go through the process of molting and shed their shell. They have three pair of legs to walk and have sharp lateral spines. These sea animals have powerful spines, which they use to collect food, for defense, and for digging and sexual displays.

Habitat
These species are known to be the bottom dwellers. These sea animals can be found in the salt water as well as fresh water at about 120 feet deep. They are the inhabitants of France, Denmark, Holland, North America and South America. These sea animals are active swimmers but they often bury themselves and only the antennae, their eyes and gill chamber are visible.

Diet
They are ravenous predators and can eat anything they get. The diet of these sea creatures includes worms, detritus, fish, oysters, clams, plants, snail, insects, mussels, crustaceans and bivalves. They can also feed on dead fish or plants.

Breeding / Reproduction
They get sexually mature at the age of about (12 to 18) months. The female of these species can mate only once whereas the male can mate several times. The male transfers their sperm for storage in to the females, when the female remains in their soft shell stage. After mating the females will spawn for (2 to 9) months and lays million of eggs. The spawning season occurs between December to October. Further, the females fertilize the eggs with the stored sperm and keep them in their abdomen. The incubation period in these species is around 14 days and the larvae take about two months to look like a crab. In these two months, the larva goes through eight stages to look like a crab. The blue crabs have a life span of three years.

blue crabs

Blue Crab Conservation
The larger crabs feed on the smaller ones and this may hinder the population of the blue crabs. Apart from this, fishing of these species for human food and destruction of their habitat for agriculture may also affect the population of these sea animals. So, in near future it is essential to take care of these facts in order to have a balance population of these species.