Can you tell the difference between a male and female blue crab?
Louisiana, Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina all share the title of largest blue crab fisheries in the world; Louisiana accounts for over half of all commercial harvest landings in the Gulf of Mexico. While the commercial harvest of the blue crab continues to rise, recreational crabbing popularity is also on a steady climb. Why? Blue crabs spend the majority of their late juvenile and adulthood in estuaries which are often closely located to an accessible shoreline, making blue crabs a delicious challenge to catch. Whether the blue crab is caught commercially or by recreation, there are two distinct methods to sex a blue crab.
Located on the underside of the crab’s carapace is the abdomen which forms a different shape depending upon the gender of the crab. Females have a broad and rounded abdomen while the male abdomen resembles a narrow t-shape. Another distinguishable characteristic are the red tips of the female’s claws. The blue crab is one of the many aquatic species that rely heavily upon the safety and health of wetlands for survival.