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 ?
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 crabs Callinectes sapidus (Rathbun) are commercially harvested throughout their range and the blue crab fishery is consistently one of the 10 most valuable fisheries in the United States.
To evaluate trends in blue crab abundance and biomass, TPW typically relies on fishery-independent data collected during annual routine monitoring.
No longer will I look with bewilderment at the fishermen stretched down the local cut' instead, I will remember the sign at Blue Crab Cay: " The worst day fishing beats the best day working".
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.
A female blue crab may lay up to 2 million eggs at once
Buster the blue crab is such a rare shellfish that he has has his own bodyguards and a top security fish tank.
In Baltimore, ACA members were treated to a Chesapeake Bay blue crab feast; in New Orleans, the French Quarter captured the spirit of Mardi Gras; and who could forget the neon of the Las Vegas strip or the lush forests and jagged coastline of Portland, Ore.
Evidence for a free-living life stage of the blue crab parasitic dinoflagellate, Hematodinium sp.
As quick as a redfish sucks in a small blue crab, Haines had retied with one of his special Dr.
March 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Shoney's is inviting America to Get Hooked on freshly prepared, quality seafood selections, which include a new Atlantic Cod with Blue Crab and Shrimp Cake and its famous Friday Night Seafood Buffet for a limited time.

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