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Portunus pelagicus   (Linnaeus, 1758)

Blue swimming crab

Native range | All suitable habitat | Point map | Year 2100
This map was computer-generated and has not yet been reviewed.
Portunus pelagicus  AquaMaps  Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Portunus pelagicus (Blue swimming crab)
Portunus pelagicus
Picture by Poppe, Guido and Philippe

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

Malacostraca | Decapoda | Portunidae

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

Reef-associated; brackish; depth range 0 - 65 m (Ref. 111223).  Tropical, preferred 26°C (Ref. 107945); 35°N - 15°S, 99°E - 137°E

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Introductions

Indo-West Pacific: from China, Japan and Korea to Philippines and westwards to the straits of Malaccca, also present in the Northern Territory, Australia. Tropical to subtropical.

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm 6.5, range 6 - ? cm Max length : 20.0 cm CW male/unsexed; (Ref. 343)

Short description Morphology

Carapace rough to granulose, regions discernible; front with 4 acutely triangular teeth; 9 teeth on each anterolateral margin, the last tooth 2 to 4 times larger than preceding teeth. Chelae elongate in males; larger chela with conical tooth at base of fingers; pollex ridged. Color: males with blue markings, females dull green.

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Matures at about 1 year. Collected mainly by artisanal traps, trawls, beach seines, cylindrical wire traps, folding traps, pots, hop nets, drop nets, and sunken crab gill nets. In shallow waters, it is caught using beach seines, rakes, and dab nets. Sold in local markets (fresh or frozen) and for the crab-flesh canning industry. Most widely sold in markets of Southeast Asia, including the Philippines (Ref. 343). Maximum depth from Ref. 801. Immediate subtidal to a depth of 40 m (Ref. 801), on sandy to sandy-muddy substrates in areas near reefs, mangroves, and sea grass and algal beds (Ref. 343). Juveniles tend to occur in shallow intertidal areas (Ref. 343). Burrows in sand when disturbed; carnivorous and voracious predator (Ref. 801). Host to protozoans, helminths and crustaceans (Ref. 104981). Spawning occurs throughout the year, with peaks in December, March and August (Ref. 119312).

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

Ng, P.K.L. 1998. (Ref. 343)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 126983)

CITES status (Ref. 108899)

Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

Human uses

Fisheries: highly 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) | GenBank (genome, nucleotide) | GloBI | Gomexsi | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | PubMed | Tree of Life | Wikipedia (Go, Search) | Zoological Record

Estimates of some properties based on models

Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969): 18.1 - 29, mean 27.6 (based on 1324 cells).
Resilience (Ref. 69278): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (K=0.1-3.11).
Prior r = 1.19, 95% CL = 0.78 - 1.78, Based on 22 stock assessments.
Vulnerability (Ref. 71543): Low vulnerability (10 of 100).
Price category (Ref. 80766): Very high.