Mud Crab

White-fingered Mud Crab
Rithropanopeus harrisii

Mud Crab

Most people know that the Blue Crab is a common resident of the Patuxent, but many are not aware that another crab calls the river bottom home, the White-fingered Mud Crab.  This is a species that is somewhat uncommon at King's Landing although they are captured at least a couple of times each season.  It may be that the mud crab is overlooked in our nets! This crab is very small, usually less than one centimeter in length, although occasionally a few larger individuals are found.  This crab is much darker in color than a small Blue Crab and may also be identified by its lack of rear swimming fins on the back legs.  Mud crabs live within the muddy bottom of the river where they search through the mud for bits of food such as decaying plant and animal material or they may prey upon barnacles and other small animals.

 

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