blue crab

blue crab


Blue crab (Callinectes sapidus)—John H. Gerard—The National Audubon Society Collection/Photo Researchers

Any member of a genus (Callinectes) of decapods, particularly C. sapidus and C. hastatus, common edible crabs of the western Atlantic coast prized as delicacies. Their usual habitats are muddy shores, bays, and estuaries. The blue crab shell, greenish on top and dingy white below, is about 3 in. (15–18 cm) long. The legs are bluish. The chelae, or pincers, are large and somewhat unequal in size, and the fifth pair of legs is flattened for swimming. Blue crabs are scavengers.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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