Difference Between Male Blue Crabs and Female Blue Crabs

Main Difference

The main difference between male blue crabs and female blue crabs lies in the shape of their apron and color of claws. Male blue crabs have a long, pointed apron and blue claws and female blue crabs have a round apron and red claws.

Male Blue Crabs vs. Female Blue Crabs

Male blue crabs also called “Jimmies,” have bright blue claws. Female blue crabs also called “Sooks,” have red tips on their claws (like the red painted nails of female humans). There is a difference in the shape of male and female blue crab’s “apron.” A flap with a distinct shape on the crab’s underside is named as the apron. Male blue crabs have a long, pointy apron. It is often facetiously called the Washington Monument. Mature female blue crabs have a rounded apron. People often facetiously say it has the shape of the United States Capitol. There are also some blue crabs with triangle-shaped aprons. These are immature females and are also called v-bottoms. Male blue crabs have broader bodies and more pronounced spines. Female blue crabs have a slightly narrow body, and their spines are not as prominent as males. When it comes to molting, male blue crabs shed their shell about twenty times till they get mature. Female blue crabs shed about eighteen times. Male blue crabs mate several times in a lifetime. Female blue crabs mate only once. The texture of the male blue crab’s meat is flaky. Females blue crabs have dense meat. Their meat is also delicious to eat and favorite dish of many people because of their roe (eggs). Additionally, the watermen call male blue crabs “jimmies,” adolescent female blue crabs “sally,” adult female blue crabs “sooks.”

Comparison Chart

Male Blue CrabsFemale Blue Crabs
Male blue crabs also called Jimmies are the crabs with bright blue claws.Female blue crabs also called Sooks to have red tips on their claws.
Molt
Twenty times until maturityEighteen times until maturity
Color of Claws
BlueRed
Body Structure
Broader body with more pronounced spinesSlightly narrow body with less prominent spines
Shape of Apron
Pointed and logRounded
Texture of Meat
FlakyDense

What are Male Blue Crabs?

A male blue crab is also called “Jimmy” by boatmen/watermen. It can be identified by its bright blue chelipeds or claws. A male blue crab can also be identified by the shape of its apron (a flap on the bottom of crab). A male blue crab’s apron is long and has a pointed tip. It is often facetiously called the Washington Monument by some watermen. It is also observed that a male blue crab has a distinct broad shape and very pronounced spines. To determine the sexual adulthood of the male blue crabs is difficult. However, it can be noticed that the apron of an adolescent male blue crab is shut. The adult male blue crab has locking spines adjacent to the fifth thoracic segment that holds his apron shut. Whereas, the apron of an adult male blue crab is free to open. It is a sign of its readiness to mate. An adult male blue crab can mate many times in its lifetime. Male blue crab molts or sheds its exoskeleton about twenty times before reaching its adulthood. The meat of male blue crabs is believed to be flaky.

What are Female Blue Crabs?

Female blue crabs are also called “sook” by watermen. They have red-tipped claws. People resemble these red tips to the “red nails” of female human beings to easily remember this. They are identified as having an inverted “U” or bell-shaped apron. If flipped upside down, you will notice this rounded or inverted U-shaped apron. People often facetiously say it has the shape of the United States Capitol. An immature (adolescent) female blue crab is known as a “Sally” or “She-Crab” to watermen. It is easily identified as having an inverted “V” or triangular shaped apron. They are also called “v-bottoms” in some areas. The apron of a Sally is tightly sealed to her body and does not open since she cannot mate or carry eggs. A female blue crab’s flap opens upon reaching maturity. The open flap is used to carry eggs and to mate. Female blue crabs mates only once in their lifetime. They shed their shells about eighteen times until they become adult. In areas where catching the female crabs is allowed, females blue crabs are eaten not only for their tasty meat but also for their roe (eggs). It is also believed that female blue crabs have dense meat.

Key Differences

  1. Male blue crabs have bright blue claws whereas female blue crabs have red tips on their claws.
  2. Male blue crabs have a long, pointy apron on the flip side mature female blue crabs have a rounded apron, and immature female blue crabs have triangle-shaped aprons.
  3. Male blue crabs have broader bodies and more pronounced spines; on the other hand, female blue crabs have a less broad body and less pronounced spines.
  4. Male blue crabs are called “jimmies,” adolescent female blue crabs “sally,” and the adult female blue crabs “sooks,” by the watermen or boatmen.
  5. Male blue crabs shed their shell about twenty times till they get mature while female blue crabs shed about eighteen times.
  6. Male blue crabs mate several times in a lifetime contrarily female blue crabs mate only once in their lifetime.

Conclusion

Male blue crabs female blue crabs are different from each other in the shape of their pron, the color of their claws, and the structure of their body, etc.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson

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