the blue crab callinectes sapidus
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The Blue Crab Callinectes sapidus. Callinectes- beautiful swimmer Sapidus-savory. Member of the swimming crab family Aggressive, bottom-dwelling predator and “keystone” species Also make up the most productive commercial and recreational fisheries. Sexually dimorphic. Taxonomy.

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the blue crab callinectes sapidus

The Blue CrabCallinectes sapidus

Callinectes- beautiful swimmer

Sapidus-savory

slide2
Member of the swimming crab family
  • Aggressive, bottom-dwelling predator and “keystone” species
  • Also make up the most productive commercial and recreational fisheries
taxonomy
Taxonomy
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda (spiders, insects)
  • Class: Crustacea (lobsters, shrimp)
  • Order: Decapoda (ten-footed)
  • Family: Portunidae (swimming crabs)
  • Close relatives of the shrimp and lobster
slide6
Growth and development occurs when an animal molts (sheds its rigid exoskeleton)
  • Before molting, a new shell is formed underneath the old exoskeleton, which then loosens and is cast off
habitat
Habitat
  • Extends along the Atlantic Coast from Nova Scotia through South America
  • Live in estuaries and need brackish (salt and freshwater mix) and high salinity waters for their complex life cycle
  • Loves SAV (submerged aquatic vegetation) to hide in and buries in the deep, muddy parts of the estuary in the winter
general facts
General Facts
  • Diet: Omnivore, opportunistic (taking advantage of what is available), which also means they will eat each other if they have to
  • Average lifespan in the wild: 1 to 3 years
  • Size: 4 in (10.2 cm) long; 9 in (23 cm) wide

Size relative to a tea cup

threats
Threats
  • Habitat loss
  • Degraded water quality
  • Overfishing
economic importance
Economic Importance
  • 1/3 of the nation’s catch of blue crabs come from the Chesapeake
  • Blue crabs have the highest value of any Chesapeake commercial fishery
  • In 2000, the harvest was valued at $55 million
  • Also major recreational fishery
cool stuff
Cool Stuff!
  • Crabs can release their claws (Autotomy) and regenerate new ones
  • Males are called “jimmies”, females called “sooks”
  • Can survive out of water for several days as long as its moist and not a stressful environment
  • Use chemoreception to find food
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