Accession Number : ADA180381

Title :   Species Profiles. Life Histories and Environmental Requirements of Coastal Fishes and Invertebrates (South Atlantic). BLUE CRAB,

Corporate Author : GEORGIA COOPERATIVE FISHERY AND WILDLIFE RESEARCH UNIT ATHENS

Personal Author(s) : Van Den Avyle,Michael J ; Fowler,Dean L

PDF Url : ADA180381

Report Date : Mar 1984

Pagination or Media Count : 26

Abstract : Species profiles are summaries of the literature on taxonomy, life history and environmental requirements of coastal fishes and aquatic invertebrates. They are prepared to assist with impact assessment. The blue crab, Callinectes sapidus, occurs in lower reaches of freshwater rivers, estuaries, and costal waters along the Atlantic seaboard and Gulf of Mexico, and the species supports the largest crab fishery in the United States. The blue crab's high abundance in estuaries, diverse feeding habits, and importance as prey for other marine animals indicate its important role in the structure and function of estuarine communities. Female blue crabs spawn in high-salinity lower estuaries or coastal areas where the resulting larvae are planktonic and develop into juveniles at 5 to 10 weeks of age. Juveniles gradually migrate into shallower, less-saline upper estuaries and rivers where they grow and mature at 1-2 yr of age. Mating occurs in the upper estuaries after which females migrate to areas having higher salinities. Growth and survival of blue crabs are strongly affected by water temperature and salinity, but tolerances vary with life stage. Larvae require temperatures of 20-30 C and salinities of 10-30 ppt for proper development, but salinity and temperature tolerances are broad for advanced juveniles and adults. Blue crabs use nearly all areas within estuaries as nursery habitat, and crab populations are sensitive to changes in physical features or contamination of these areas. Keywords: Shellfish; Crustacea.

Descriptors :   *CRABS, *FISHES, *MARINE BIOLOGY, ADULTS, AQUATIC ANIMALS, AQUATIC ORGANISMS, BLUE(COLOR), COASTAL REGIONS, COMMUNITIES, CRUSTACEA, ENVIRONMENTS, ESTUARIES, FEEDING, FEMALES, FISHERIES, FRESH WATER, HABITS, HISTORY, INVERTEBRATES, LARVAE, LIFE(BIOLOGY), MEXICO GULF, POPULATION, PROFILES, REQUIREMENTS, RIVERS, SALINITY, SENSITIVITY, SHELLFISH, SUPPORTS, SURVIVAL(GENERAL), TAXONOMY, TEMPERATURE, TOLERANCE, UNITED STATES, WATER, YOUTH, LIFE CYCLES, REPRODUCTION(PHYSIOLOGY)

Subject Categories : Biology
      Biological Oceanography

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE