Salt marsh mud crab

Panopeus obesus

Family Panopeidae - Mud crabs

Carapace oval, wider than long; color of carapace blue, maroon, purplish to dark brown, cream color ventrally; last legs regular, not flattened; 5 teeth on anterior lateral edges of carapace, teeth fairly blunt, 5th tooth shorter than 4th; reticulated (spotted) veined pattern on claws, colorless longitudinal stripe on inner and outer palms; major chela with enlarge tooth on movable finger; teeth on immovable finger rise above an imaginary line from tip of finger to angle of claw; fingers brown with white tips; eyestalks with alternating longitudinal stripes of dark gray and olive; dark red spot under outer mouth parts (3rd maxillipeds) in both sexes.
Similar Species
Most likely to be confused with the oystershell mud crab, P. simpsoni. The oystershell mud crab has a mottled gray color with light colored mottling on the claws. Its lateral teeth are pointed (blunt in salt marsh mud crab).The teeth on the immovable claw do not cross an imaginary line from the tip to the angle of the claw. The red spot under its outer mouth part is present in all males but not all females.
Bay, marsh edges, shallow intertidal and subtidal waters, burrows in mud banks
Maximum Size
5.6 cm (2 1/5 in) carapace width
Other Common Names
Previous Scientific Names