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Blue crab


carapace usually up to 20 centimeters wide


up to 900 grams


green-brown carapace; bright blue legs; males blue claws; females red claws


maximum 3 years


omnivore, also carrion


fish, birds and fisheries



  • Dut: Blauwe zwemkrab
  • Lat: Callinectes sapidus
  • Eng: Blue crab
  • Ger: Blaukrabbe

Blue crab

Blue crabs are immigrants from the east coast of North America, where they are common and extensively fished. They are sporadically found in the Netherlands. It is unknown whether the animals are able to reproduce here or that the larvae come from elsewhere. If you should see one, you can't be mistaken. The blue crab is large, has beautiful colors, blue legs and two tips on the sides of its carapace. They eat everything. If food is scarse, they will even eat each other. The Latin name means 'tasty synchornized swimmer'.

  • Finds

    In September 2008, a blue crab was found in a fishing net by the sea dike on Texel. The animal could be seen in an aquarium in Ecomare. The blue crab in the picture is a full-grown female, 16 centimeters wide. The animal was caught in 2006 by a Texel fishing vessel TX43 Biem van der Vis while fishing in the North Sea by the Brown Bank.

  • Distribution and habitat
    Blue crab, foto fitis, sytske dijksen

    The blue crab is a rarity in the North Sea, Wadden Sea and delta region. It lives on sandy or muddy bottoms down to 40 meters deep. It is suspected that it doesn't reproduce in these waters and that larvae from North America are imported with ships. These larvae develop into adults but that's where it ends.