blue crab

an edible crab, Callinectes sapidus, having a dark green body and bluish legs, found along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of North America.
[1880-85, Amer.]

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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.

Blue crab (Callinectes sapidus)

John H. Gerard from the National Audubon Society Collection/Photo Researches
EB Inc.

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 (genus Callinectes), any of a genus of crustaceans of the order Decapoda (phylum Arthropoda), particularly Callinectes sapidus and C. hastatus, common edible crabs of the western Atlantic coast that are prized as delicacies. Their usual habitat is muddy shores, bays, and estuaries.

      The shell, greenish on top and dingy white below, is about 7.5 cm (3 inches) long and 15 to 18 cm wide; the legs are bluish. A distinctive, large, sharp spine projects from each side. Eight short spines occur on each side between the large spine and the eyes. The chelae, or pincers, are large and somewhat unequal in size. The fifth pair of legs is flattened for swimming. The crabs are scavengers, feeding on the bodies of dead animals. At spawning time the female's abdomen swells with eggs. Larvae hatch two weeks after fertilization and pass through a number of zoeal, or early larval, stages before metamorphosing into conventional crablike forms.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Blue crab — Blue Blue (bl[=u]), a. [Compar. {Bluer} (bl[=u] [ e]r); superl. {Bluest}.] [OE. bla, blo, blew, blue, livid, black, fr. Icel.bl[=a]r livid; akin to Dan. blaa blue, Sw. bl[*a], D. blauw, OHG. bl[=a]o, G. blau; but influenced in form by F. bleu,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • blue crab — blue′ crab′ n. ivt an edible crab, Callinectes sapidus, of the North American Atlantic coast, having a green shell and blue legs • Etymology: 1880–85 …   From formal English to slang

  • blue crab — ☆ blue crab n. any of a genus (Callinectes) of crabs, esp. a blue legged, edible swimming species ( C. sapidus) of the Atlantic coast of North America: see CRAB1 …   English World dictionary

  • Blue crab — Taxobox | name = Blue crab image width = 250px regnum = Animalia phylum = Arthropoda subphylum = Crustacea classis = Malacostraca ordo = Decapoda subordo = Pleocyemata infraordo = Brachyura familia = Portunidae genus = Callinectes species = C.… …   Wikipedia

  • blue crab — noun 1. Atlantic crab; most common source of fresh crabmeat • Hypernyms: ↑crab, ↑crabmeat • Part Holonyms: ↑Callinectes sapidus 2. bluish edible crab of Atlantic and Gulf Coasts of North America • Syn: ↑Callinectes sapidus …   Useful english dictionary

  • blue crab — noun Date: 1883 a large bluish green edible crab (Callinectes sapidus) of the Atlantic and Gulf coasts …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Maryland Blue Crab Young Reader Award — The Maryland Blue Crab Young Reader Award is a literature award created to recognize high quality books for beginning and transitional readers in kindergarten through fourth grade. It is granted annually by the Maryland Library Association… …   Wikipedia

  • Crab meat — or Crabmeat is the meat found within a crab. It is used in many cuisines across the world, prized for its soft, delicate taste. Brown crab (Cancer pagurus), blue crabs (Callinectus sapidus), blue swimming crabs (Portunus pelagicus), red swimming… …   Wikipedia

  • Crab — (kr[a^]b), n. [AS. crabba; akin to D. krab, G. krabbe, krebs, Icel. krabbi, Sw. krabba, Dan. krabbe, and perh. to E. cramp. Cf. {Crawfish}.] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) One of the brachyuran Crustacea. They are mostly marine, and usually have a broad, short… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Crab apple — Crab Crab (kr[a^]b), n. [AS. crabba; akin to D. krab, G. krabbe, krebs, Icel. krabbi, Sw. krabba, Dan. krabbe, and perh. to E. cramp. Cf. {Crawfish}.] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) One of the brachyuran Crustacea. They are mostly marine, and usually have a broad …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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