Blue Land Crab

Blue Land Crab

Regis and I went to the Palencia boardwalk to take some marsh vegetation pictures for a research project for the Guana-Tolomato-Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (GTM). When we returned to our street, we found this blue land crab (Cardisoma guanhum) running along the street gutter. I had my camera with me, so I stopped to get a picture. It was somewhat difficult because the crab found a tree and kept trying to get on the opposite of the tree from me. Eventually, it stayed still long enough to get this photo.

Wikepedia says the distribution of these crabs is as far north as Ponce Inlet which is about 80 miles south of us. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) website says they are limited in their distribution by cold weather. During harvest season for them in Florida, you can bag 20 without a size limit. The season is closed from July 1 to October 31. They presumably taste as good as the blue crabs (Callinectes sapidus) I grew up eating in Maryland. It is a beautiful crab and it was a thrill to see our first one.

Following are the drone pictures Regis took from the Palencia boardwalk in support of the GTM research project. We are planning to take them once a month.

Aerial view east from Palencia boardwalk.
Aerial view north from Palencia boardwalk.
Aerial view south from Palencia boardwalk.

3 Comments on “Blue Land Crab

  1. I read a recent article that the famous Chesapeake blue crab is being found further north than ever before, up into Massachusetts now with warming oceans. So it did not surprise me to hear our local blue crabs were noted to be as far north as the Ponce Inlet and we are finding them here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There is a sighting in iNaturalist just north of where the St. Johns River empties into the Atlantic.


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