Selasa, 09 September 2014

Not just one swimming crab in the Chesapeake

Since the prior post was about our beloved Chesapeake Blue crabs and how much fun they are to torment with a tasty treat dangling in front of them, I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to offer up that there are MORE than one swimming crab in the Bay.

What started this inquiry was a comment from Cindy about the tiny little crab that I caught with my bare hand while it was swimming beside us in our Hobie trimaran.

Note the color and the stripe

Another view
At the time, Cindy said she thought it was a mud crab.

My standard uninformed male response: ??? Mud crab? Are you nuts? This is a swimming crab, and everybody knows that there's just one swimming crab in the Chesapeake!

But Cindy was not to be dissuaded and stood by her assertion. Well, it just so happens that we have an acquaintance who specializes in Bay aquatic life and we posed the question to her. She in turn passed the question onto an expert and his response is as follows:
Callinectis sapidus (the iconic Chesapeake Bay blue crab)
Portunas spinamanus
Another spotted thing that looks like a blue crab-different genus (Seranaus something or other)
Ovalipes (this genus has 11 species) are really common
So... Cindy is right and I stand corrected - there are several varieties of swimming crabs in the Chesapeake Bay. I don't know how plentiful the others are or if they taste as good as the blue crab, but I'm ready and willing to be an impartial judge...

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