There are a number of different types of crabs that inhabit Florida’s waters. Some are truly magnificent creatures, like the blue crab, while others, like the fiddler crab, aren’t quite as appealing. If you’ve never looked at these animals up close before and want to know more about them then this article will give you a brief overview of what to expect from these interesting animals. Florida provides an environment that is home to some of the most diverse types of crabs in the entire world. There are approximately 6,000 different species of crabs that live all over the state. Below are the main types of crabs you should look out for.
1. STONE CRABS
Mostly in far south Florida, the stone crab is a popular type of crab that can be found in the coastal regions. They are always found near the shoreline, and they are mostly seen in Florida’s warmest areas. Their bodies are covered with a rough exoskeleton that makes them great at withstanding harsh conditions like cold water and strong currents. Stone crabs grow to be quite large, but they spend their time hunting for small creatures such as shrimp, worms, and other small fish.
Removing their claws and returning them to the sea is how stone crabs grow limps, which are their major source of food. Their claws can also be eaten and once these crabs have molted, their claws will grow again and become larger. Their claws are not only considered a delicacy, but they are also used to create different types of art. Stone crabs get their name from this as well; because their claws can be used to carve, sculpt, and mold into beautiful sculptures, a rare crab species in Florida.
2. BLUE CRABS
The most common type of crab in Florida is the blue crab. There are more than 100 different species of blue crabs in the state, and they vary greatly in size, color, and shape. These creatures can be found all over Florida’s coastal areas and are a valuable food source for many species of fish such as snappers, stonefish, and grouper. Every year millions of people flock to Florida to enjoy the beaches where these crabs can be found. Being the most popular eaten crab in America, blue crabs are a popular food item all around the world.
There are rules in Florida that govern hunting for blue crabs, and you can only take them from the public parts of beaches. This means that you cannot use baited pots or traps to catch these crabs. Instead, you are required to dive for them and must stay within a certain distance from the shoreline. If caught in an illegal trap, these crabs may be confiscated upon landing.
3. FIDDLER CRAMS
There is a type of crab in the Amazon that is known for its ability to tap a tree almost over 100 times within an hour. This ability to move quickly is called a “waddle.” The fiddler crab is also known for this waddle, as they can move at speeds of up to two inches per second. What stands out most about these crabs is their long, curved claws. These claws are used to dig tunnels in the sand that they can retreat into and also protect them from predators. The most common time to see and hear fiddler crabs is at dusk when they are out looking for a mate.
Most crab species in Florida will be found in just one specific area of the state, but the fiddler crab can be found in nearly every coastal region throughout Florida. What makes them so common is that they are great at hiding in different types of environments where predators can’t find them. They often lay low in salt marshes, behind rocks, and in the undergrowth of dunes.
4. HERMIT CRABS
These crab species in Florida are popularly known for carrying around empty shells on their backs and often move their homes if they feel it’s getting crowded or if they simply want a bigger one. In Florida, the most common shell these creatures move into is actually another crab’s shell. There are nine species of hermit crabs native to Florida and most of them live in the tidal areas of coastal areas. Hermit crabs are often found along the edges of coral reefs or on sandy beaches as well.
The hermit crab will first search for a shell with a tight fit, then it will move into it and seal it up with its legs. It then walks around in this shell until it eventually fills up with sand, after which time they will begin searching for another shell to move into. What makes it popular with tourists and locals alike is that it’s fun to watch these creatures work and it creates a sense of awe in many people who witness this behavior.
5. GREEN CRABS
Coming in at number three is the green crab. These crabs are very similar to blue crabs regarding their appearance and habits and are very similar in taste as well. They do, however, vary greatly depending on where you’re located since Florida is home to over 400 different types of green crabs with over 25 species that have been identified so far by scientists. Green crabs are found far up on the Atlantic side of Florida’s coast, and they are not as well-known as the other crabs that live in Florida. They are primarily called “green” crabs because of their greenish-colored shell, which is helpful when trying to distinguish them from other types of crabs on a beach.
The distinctive characteristic of crab species in Florida is their claws. These crustaceans are able to pinch with their claws and they can also stretch these claws out like a hand, in order to better reach food sources. When dealing with its prey, these crab species in Florida will often use a “death grip” method that involves holding on until it’s completely dead before letting go. These crab species in Florida are liked for the fact that they can live in a variety of environments, such as coral reefs and sandy beaches, as well as in trees, driftwood piles, and even in mangroves.
6. HARRIS MUD CRAB
One of the most popular mud crabs in Florida is the Harris mud crab, which is known for its ability to live in waters that have an extremely high salinity content. This crab species in Florida can be found all over the world, but it’s more abundant in Florida. What makes them unique is their ability to live in these specific types of environments and an extreme resistance to diseases. They are used by many people as bait in fishing and can also be eaten as a delicacy.
According to most documents and reports, these mud crabs are considered an invasive species, since they have taken over the habitats of other species and eliminated them. The reason for their high abundance is because they don’t need a lot of food to eat and reproduce very quickly in large populations. Many people are concerned about this as it may cause a major problem for Florida’s aquatic ecosystem in the future.
7. SPIDER CRAB
As the name suggests, these crab species in Florida have a lot of similarities with spiders. These crabs are found in large numbers in Florida’s waters and can be seen along the beach at night by those who are looking for them. They have a characteristic pincher claw that they use to catch and eat their prey, which consists of smaller types of fish and small crustaceans. Their legs and claws are covered with spines that protect them from predators unlike most crabs in Florida.
From the scientific family Epialtidae, spider crabs are known for their large size than most crabs in Florida. With the average size being around twelve inches, they can grow up to twenty-five inches in some areas. They are also very good swimmers and tend to stay close to the ocean floor as they search for food and swim around. Spider crabs are hunted frequently by people, who use them as bait in fishing. Their legs and claws can also be eaten by humans and considered a delicacy by many cultures around the world.
8. ATLANTIC GHOST CRAB
Being nocturnal creatures, the Atlantic ghost crab lives in the tidal areas of Florida’s coasts. Their appearance is very similar to their relatives, the spider crab and they have a wide body with a wide mouth that allows them to eat large amounts of food. Because their diet consists of small crustaceans, these crabs are known as scavengers, and they use their powerful pincers to catch shrimp or other smaller crustaceans. Their distinctive characteristics are their deep red color, which gives them their name and the large, yellowish-orange eyes.
Ghost crabs are also known for their ability to take advantage of shifting tides and currents to swim and find food sources unlike most crabs in Florida. They can also swim from one side of a river to the other using currents as a means of propulsion. When they want to move closer to an area where they may be able to find foods, they will often use these currents as well.
There are many types of crabs in Florida, which are known for their unique characteristics. Above are some of the most popular types that are found all over the state, especially along the coasts. The green crab population is growing, and they are being studied in detail by scientists to understand more about their dietary habits and what makes them so common crabs in Florida. Also, most crabs in Florida have been one of Florida’s top culinary favorites for years and they are also used to create different types of art.
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