Blue Crab

Female blue crab
Blue crabs are a common sight in the surf at Padre Island.

NPS Photo

Found in the waters off the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico, the Blue crab is native to the western shores of the Atlantic. These crabs are omnivores, eating both plants and animals. Their natural predators include eels, drum, redfish, trout, sharks and sting rays. Females mate just one time, which occurs immediately after molting of the hard shell. She can spawn many times from this single mating. In fact, the mating ritual is quite elaborate, with the male carrying and protecting the female both before and after the mating process. These crabs are both commercially and recreationally harvested for their tasty meat. Its popularity as food for humans and habitat loss have led to a serious drop in Blue crab populations.

Last updated: September 21, 2016

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 181300
Corpus Christi, TX 78480


(361) 949-8068
This is the primary phone number for the Malaquite Visitor Center at Padre Island National Seashore.

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