The Blue Crab in North Carolina
North Carolina State 

Postlarval or 
Megalopal Stage Blue Crab

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    Male or Female?

    MATURE FEMALE (SOOK): There are two ways to identify an adult female blue crab: 1) The apron is shaped like the Capitol Dome; 2) The tips of the claws are red, some say that the females "paint their fingernails".

    IMMATURE FEMALE (SHE-CRAB): Immature females are identified by a triangular shaped apron.

    MALE (JIMMIE): The easiest way to identify a male blue crab is by identifying the apron which is shaped like the Washington Monument. In addition, many times the male's color is a more vibrant blue than the female's, and the male lacks red tips on their claws.

    *Photo of Immature female courtesy of Smithsonian Environmental Research Center's Tales of the Blue Crab site.

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