blue crab

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Related to blue crab: Dungeness crab, Soft shell crab

blue crab,

common name for a crustaceancrustacean
, primarily aquatic arthropod of the subphylum Crustacea. Most of the 44,000 crustacean species are marine, but there are many freshwater forms. The few groups that inhabit terrestrial areas have not been particularly successful in an evolutionary sense; most require
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, Callinectes sapidus, found on the S Atlantic and Gulf coasts of North America. The blue crab is a member of the family of swimming crabs known as the Portunidae and is characterized by a broad, semitriangular carapace (shell) covering the thorax, by a narrow abdomen tucked under its body, and by five pairs of appendages called pereiopods, of which the first two bear large claws (chelae) and the last two are flattened paddles modified for swimming. It is the most common edible crab of the Atlantic coast, and several million pounds are fished commercially by trapping or trawling each year. It is sold both as the hard-shell variety and as the familiar delicacy known as the soft-shelled crab. In the hard-shell form, the crab is in an intermolt phase (between molts) and the exoskeleton is fully hardened (sclerotized). In its soft-shell stage, the crab is in the phase just after the molt but before the exoskeleton has hardened. Since, in nature, the crab retires to secluded areas at the time of the molt and is thus difficult to collect, commercial fishermen collect the crabs at the so-called peeler stage, which occurs two to three days before the molt. The crabs are then held in pens, on floats in the water, until just after the molt, when they are marketable. The ovaries of the female begin to develop only after mating has taken place. The female carries the young under her abdomen until they hatch as tiny larvae, which are only 1-25 in. (0.1 cm) long. The crabs molt many times and grow to 7 in. (17.8 cm) in about 200 days. Blue crabs are classified in the phylum ArthropodaArthropoda
[Gr.,=jointed feet], largest and most diverse animal phylum. The arthropods include crustaceans, insects, centipedes, millipedes, spiders, scorpions, and the extinct trilobites.
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, subphylum Crustacea, class Malacostraca, order Decapoda, family Portunidae.
References in periodicals archive ?
Mature blue crab (right) will be quartered for best results.
The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of ocean acidification on the survival and condition of the larval blue crab.
The unharvested "take" of blue crab and other fishery species in DCPs represents substantial mortality (Guillory, 1993; Guillory (4)) and is a drain on fishery catches and incomes.
Blue crab mating involves many interactions before, during, and after copulation, both between the male and the female and between competing males.
Effect of three by-catch reduction devices on diamondback terrapin Malaclemys terrapin capture and blue crab Callinectes sapidus harvest in Delaware Bay.
To evaluate trends in blue crab abundance and biomass, TPW typically relies on fishery-independent data collected during annual routine monitoring.
THE SPECS: Crab cakes made from blue crab and served with a roasted corn and black bean salsa and a roasted pepper aioli.
The most exotic location is the Bahamas and his search for bonefish in th e wonderfully-named Blue Crab Cay while awaiting for the arrival of a cyclone unleashes the poet in him: "The storm missed Blue Crab Cay, but it had ruffled a few hairpieces on expensive yachts along the way.
The Compleat Crabbe is a "must" for anyone wanting quick and easy instructions for catching and cooking the Blue Crab.
The blue crab, Callinectes sapidus, provides the most economically important fishery in North Carolina (NCDMF, 2004) but population trends have raised concerns among fishery managers.

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