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Males vs. Females

Because our special $24.99 half bushel of blue crabs contains both males and females, we’re often asked questions about the differences between the two. Keep reading to find out why some people may have a preference for one gender over the other.

Let’s start by taking a look at their physical differences. There are two ways to identify your crab as being either male or female including claw color and apron shape. First, take a look at the crab’s claws. Male crabs will have bright blue claws like the first picture below. Female crabs, however, have red tips on their claws like in the second picture. It’s easy to remember this distinction because, like humans, the females wear “red nail polish”.

Male blue crabs

Female blue crabs – Taken by Angel Perry

A second way to tell the difference between males and females is by the shape of their “apron”. If you look at a crab’s underside, there’s a flap with a distinct shape. This flap is referred to as the apron. Male blue crabs (Jimmies) have a long, pointy apron as seen in the first picture below. Mature females (Sooks) have a rounded apron as in the second picture below. You may also see crabs with triangle-shaped aprons. These are immature females and are called “v-bottoms”.

Male blue crab’s apron

Female blue crab’s apron

Still wondering why some prefer one over the other? Those who prefer males often do so because catching females is controversial in other some other states. Some states do not permit fishermen to keep females.  Don’t worry, though! It’s perfectly legal in North Carolina to keep and sell females because populations are plentiful here. Those who prefer females usually claim that their meat is sweeter. We want your opinion on it! Come try our special half bushels, use this guide to find a male and a female, and let us know if you can taste the difference in their meat.

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One Response to Males vs. Females

  1. adement2@gmail.com says:

    Thank you for this image..looked all over trying to show my family the difference.

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