The Blue Crab (Callinectes sapidus) is found from Cape Cod to Uruguay, sometimes north at least to Massachusetts Bay (Gosner 1978). Blue Crabs have also been introduced accidentally or intentionally in Hawaii, Europe, Japan, and Africa.
The Blue Crab (Callinectes sapidus) is especially common in estuaries, where it ranges into fresh water, but may be found offshore to at least 36 meters (Gosner 1978). Females remain in higher salinity portions of an estuary system, especially for egg laying (Lippson and Lippson 1997). Blue Crabs migrate to deeper water in winter (Gosner 1978).
The Blue Crab (Callinectes sapidus) is found from Cape Cod to Uruguay, occurring especially in estuaries. It is a beautifully colored crustacean with bright blue claws--the mature female's claws are tipped in red--and an olive to bluish green carapace. The Blue Crab is a commercially important species and is popular with recreational crabbers as well. (Gosner 1978; Lippson and Lippson 1997). The Greek and Latin roots of its scientific name translate to "savory beautiful swimmer".
Callinectes sapidus eats a large range of foods. Typically this species eats clams, oysters, and mussels as well as almost any vegetable or animal matter. This species will scavenge freshly dead animals but not long dead animals. The crabs will sometimes also eat young crabs.
Animal Foods: fish; mollusks; aquatic or marine worms; aquatic crustaceans; other marine invertebrates
Blue Crabs feed on plants, shellfish, recently dead fish, and a wide variety of other prey they can kill or scavenge, including recently molted soft-shelled individuals of their own species (Lippson and Lippson 1997).
Parasites are very common on Callinectes sapidus. Barnacles, worms and leeches attach themselves to the outer shell; small animals called isopods live in the gills or on the abdomen; and small worms live in the muscles. Although C. sapidus is a host to many parasites, most of these do not affect the life of the crab.