The blue crab also has been introduced into Japan. Marine Resources Division, South Carolina Wildlife and Marine Resources Department, Charleston, SC. An apparatus used to bring up objects or mud from a river or seabed by scooping or dragging. Average Size Estuaries 12: 157-168. Along with other crabs, prawns, and lobsters, Atlantic blue crabs are decapods; they have ten legs. 21pp. U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, TR EL-82-4. Molting blue crab. The original range of the blue crab is from Nova Scotia and throughout the Gulf of Mexico to northern Argentina, including Bermuda and the Antilles. Do blue crabs put on weight before winter hibernation? Manage My Subscriptions, archive  Research has also shown that denser grass beds hold more crabs, indicating both the quantity and quality of grass habitat can affect blue crab populations. The blue king crab is the largest king crab species and one of the largest crustaceans. Habitat loss. Occupy a range of estuarine habitats as well as coastal bays, sounds and nearshore waters; often in association with submerged vegetation or oyster reefs. Blue Crab Habitat, Distribution and Migration The original range of the blue crab is from Nova Scotia and throughout the Gulf of Mexico to northern Argentina, including Bermuda and the Antilles. Over the past 60 years, blue crabs have dominated Chesapeake Bay fisheries, with an estimated one-third of the nation’s blue crab catch coming from the Bay. 1990. FOIA | Privacy Policy | Report Larvae use tidal currents to recruit to estuaries as megalopae (i.e. 1996. The blue crab is seldom found north of Cape Cod, but has been recorded in … U.S. More than one-third of the nation’s blue crab catch comes from the Chesapeake Bay. Size: Up to 9 inches long from point to point, and 4 inches from head to tail. Smooth oblong carapace in variations of gray, blue, or brownish green. Juvenile and adult blue crabs serve as food for fish, birds and even other blue crabs. The Chesapeake Bay Program tracks the abundance of adult female blue crabs as an indicator of Bay health. A profile of the blue crab and its fishery in South Carolina. Children under 13 years of age must have a parent/guardian's consent before providing Females utilize similar but higher salinity habitats until moving to estuary mouths to spawn; thereafter, females remain near inlets or in coastal ocean waters. Laughlin RA. Moore CJ. The blue crab is an “r” (reproductive)-selected strategist species, which is characterized by production of large numbers of young, rapid growth, early attainment of sexual maturity, high mortality rates, and short life span. 1986. E-Newsletter Archive. During winter crabs concentrate in areas of tidal exchange in the lower estuary. Fish Wild. A food web is a system of interlocking and interdependent food chains, in which each organism supplies energy to another life form. Fish Wildl Serv FWS/OBS-82/11.19. A food chain is formed as one organism eats another. Mating occurs in low salinity upper estuary waters following terminal molting of females. 39 pp. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 36: 55-64. Bull Mar Sci 32: 807-822. Phone Numbers | Accessibility | 1987. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, TR EL-82-4. The life history of the estuarine dependent blue crab involves a complex cycle of planktonic, nektonic, and benthic stages, which occur throughout the estuarine-nearshore marine environment. 1982. Population dynamics and habitat partitioning by size, sex, and molt stage of blue crabs Callinectes sapidus in a subestuary of central Chesapeake Bay. Research has shown that grass beds protect crabs … Blue crabs are extremely sensitive to changes in their habitat and … To protect blue crabs in the Bay watershed, consider protecting underwater grasses. Blue crab larvae are part of the Bay’s planktonic community, serving as food for menhaden, oysters and other filter feeders. U.S. Predators include the …