Lesser blue crab

Callinectes similis

Family Portunidae - Swimming crabs

Distinguishing
Characteristics
Carapace broader than long, compressed; color olive green to brown dorsally, yellowish to white underneath; legs olive, bluish or brown; claws are long, palms with blue and white coloration, fingers blue in adult males, violet blue in adult females, juveniles with white fingers with blue spot at base of fingers; last pair of legs flattened into paddle-shaped appendages; 9 pair of spines (including the outer orbital spines) along the lateral edges of the carapace, the most posterior pair (called the lateral spines) being the longest; 6 low blunt spines between the ocular orbits (eye sockets), including the inner orbital spines, the center pair of spines very small; spines on the inner margins of merus (2 segments from claws) and outer carpus (segment next to claw), no spine on inner dorsal carpus.
Similar Species
The blue crabs look similar, but have 4 low teeth between the ocular orbits, and juveniles have a reddish spot at base of fingers.
Habitat
Gulf and bay
Maximum Size
12 cm (4 3/4 in) carapace width
Other Common Names
Previous Scientific Names
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