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Blue Crab

Callinectes sapidus


Female Blue Crabs
  • Brilliant blue color on front claws (tips are red in females)
    with an olive or blueish-green carapace (shell).
  • Pair of paddle shaped legs that are excellent for swimming.
  • Nine marginal teeth behind each eye, with the last pair of teeth ending in a sharp spine. 
  • Up to 9 inches in carapace width (from tip-to-tip across carapace).
  • 4 low blunt spines between eye sockets.
  • Juveniles have bright red/orange at claw elbow joints.

Male versus female blue crabs

  • Female blue crabs have red on their claws. Male blue crabs do not. 
  • On the underside of blue crabs is a flap called the apron. Adult female blue crabs have an apron shaped more like an oval, or the U.S. Capitol building. Juvenile female blue crabs have an apron the shape of a pyramid. Male blue crabs have an apron that is more pointed like the Washington Monument. 


Male Blue Crab

In the Gulf of Mexico off Florida, they spawn in the spring and fall, and in the Atlantic off Florida, they spawn year-round, with the greatest number spawning in the winter through spring and late summer.

They feed on a variety of plant and animal material and
prefer live or fresh prey.


Seagrass beds and other submerged aquatic vegetation areas are important nursery habitats for juvenile blue crabs, while adults use grassy and shallow sandy areas.

Other Informative Links

Blue Crab Recreational Regulations