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Callinectes sapidus   Rathbun, 1896

Blue crab

Native range | All suitable habitat | Point map | Year 2050
This map was computer-generated and has not yet been reviewed.
Callinectes sapidus  AquaMaps  Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Callinectes sapidus

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | CoL | ITIS | WoRMS

Malacostraca | Decapoda | Portunidae

Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range Ecology

Benthopelagic; freshwater; brackish; depth range 0 - 90 m (Ref. 109245), usually 0 - 35 m (Ref. 367).  Tropical; 6°C - 30°C (Ref. 105839), preferred 25°C (Ref. 107945); 47°N - 36°S, 125°W - 34°W

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Introductions

Western Atlantic: From Nova Scotia to Rio de la Plata, Argentina. Introduced in the eastern Atlantic, North Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Adriatic Sea, Black Sea and Indo-Pacific. Tropical to temperate.

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm 12.8, range 13 - 13 cm Max length : 22.7 cm WD male/unsexed; (Ref. 367); max. reported age: 3.00 years (Ref. 105839)

Short description Morphology

Carapace more than twice as broad as long; 9 blunt to acuminate teeth (outer orbital tooth and strong lateral spine included) on arched anterolateral margin; front (excluding inner orbital angles) bearing 2 obtuse to acuminate, broadly triangular teeth with often sinuous inner margins longer than outer margins. Much of convex dorsal surface smooth, but scattered and transverse lines of fine granules; sculpture of regions near center varying from low and smooth to rather sharply raised relief with crowded granules; pincers strong, dissimilar, and ridged longitudinally; fifth legs flattened in form of paddles. Males with T-shaped abdomen level of thoracic sternite 4; slender first pleopods with membranous tip reaching beyond suture between thoracic sternites 4 and 5; sinuously curved overlapping proximally and armed distally with a row of large and small retrogressive spinules. Color: greyish, bluish, or brownish green. Males with propodi of chelae blue on inner and white on outer surfaces, fingers blue on inner and white on outer surfaces and tipped with red. Mature females with orange fingers on chelae tipped with purple. Underparts off-white with tints of yellow and pink. Color variations is associated with sexual dimorphism and molt cycle.

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

An epibenthic omnivore, that is active and abundant in shallow habitats (Ref. 087949). Longevity was estimated from a population of blue crabs in Chesapeake Bay (Ref. 105839). Benthopelagic (Ref. 97531). Hatching occurs in mouths of estuaries and shallow marine waters, development of larvae progresses in the ocean, followed by migration of megalopae and young crabs back into estuarine waters to mature into adults (Ref. 367). Found on soft bottoms (Ref. 106866). Burrows in muddy-sand bottoms (Ref. 108781). Juveniles occur on seagrasses. Highly cannibalistic; adult conspecifics are observed attacking tethered juveniles (Ref. 106866). Appears to be an opportunistic feeder (Ref. 108779).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Members of the order Decapoda are mostly gonochoric. Mating behavior: Precopulatory courtship ritual is common (through olfactory and tactile cues); usually indirect sperm transfer.

Main reference References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Tavares, M. 2003. (Ref. 367)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 130435)

CITES status (Ref. 108899)

Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

Human uses

Fisheries: commercial
FAO - Aquaculture: production; Fisheries: landings, species profile | FishSource | Sea Around Us


Internet sources

BHL | BOLD Systems | CISTI | DiscoverLife | FAO(Fisheries: species profile; publication : search) | Fishipedia | GenBank (genome, nucleotide) | GloBI | 1 GoMexSI (interaction data) | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | PubMed | Tree of Life | Wikipedia (Go, Search) | Zoological Record

Estimates based on models

Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969): 12.3 - 28, mean 24.4 (based on 788 cells).
Resilience (Ref. 69278): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (K=0.5-1.59; tmax=3).
Prior r = 0.89, 95% CL = 0.59 - 1.34, Based on 2 full stock assessments.
Vulnerability (Ref. 71543): Low vulnerability (13 of 100).
Price category (Ref. 80766): Very high.
Nutrients: Calcium = 109 [35, 184] mg/100g; Iron = 1.59 [1.21, 1.97] mg/100g; Protein = 20.2 [19.2, 21.3] %; Omega3 = 0.285 [0.185, 0.386] g/100g; Selenium = 48.3 [-31.7, 128.3] μg/100g; VitaminA = 0 μg/100g; Zinc = 1.79 [1.17, 2.40] mg/100g (wet weight).