World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Callinectes similis

Article Id: WHEBN0021412482
Reproduction Date:

Title: Callinectes similis  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Portunoidea, Horsehair crab, Cryphiops caementarius, Oratosquilla oratoria, Ovalipes australiensis
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Callinectes similis

Callinectes similis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Crustacea
Class: Malacostraca
Order: Decapoda
Infraorder: Brachyura
Family: Portunidae
Genus: Callinectes
Species: C. similis
Binomial name
Callinectes similis
Williams, 1966 [1]

Callinectes similis, sometimes called the lesser blue crab[1] or dwarf crab,[2] is a species of blue crab described in 1966.


Callinectes similis is a good swimmer, and its last pereiopods are expanded to paddles with which it swims. Adult males may grow up to a width of 122 millimetres (4.8 in), while females may reach 95 mm (3.7 in).[3]

C. similis is most closely related to Callinectes danae,[4] a species also found in the Gulf of Mexico, but whose range extends as far south as Rio Grande do Sul,[5] and C. ornatus, a species found from North Carolina to Rio Grande do Sul.[6] C. similis is most easily separated from C. danae and C. ornatus by the form of the first and second pleopods in males.[7] It can be told apart from the more distantly related C. sapidus by the number of teeth on the front edge of the carapace, there being six in C. similis and only two in C. sapidus.[7]


Callinectes similis is found in the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico from the United States to Colombia. It reaches its northern limit near Delaware Bay.[3] There has been considerable confusion between the various species of Callinectes, and it now appears that all individuals reported as C. danae and C. ornatus from the Gulf of Mexico (with the exception of parts of Florida) are actually C. similis.[7]


C. similis lives in marshes and estuaries, being the dominant crab in open bays. The species is limited to salinities of at least 15, and temperature may also affect reproduction.[3]

The diet of C. similis consists of a variety of foodstuffs, including plants, fish, polychaetes, other crustaceans including Farfantepenaeus aztecus and Portunus gibbesii, molluscs such as Mulinia lateralis, and detritus.[2]

Spawning takes place in the spring and fall, with females returning to estuaries to release their eggs.[3] Ovigerous (egg-carrying) females carry an average of more than 250,000 eggs.[2]


Although it is not usually targeted because of its relatively small size, C. similis is sometimes caught alongside C. sapidus.[3]


  1. ^ a b "Callinectes similis".  
  2. ^ a b c Sergio Chazaro-Olvera, Arturo Rocha-Ramirez & Ramiro Roman-Contreras (2000). Williams, 1966, on the central continental shelf off Veracruz, Gulf of Mexico"Callinectes similis"Observations on feeding, maturity and fecundity of .  
  3. ^ a b c d e Melany P. Puglisi (October 1, 2008). "Callinectes similis".  
  4. ^ Rafael Robles, Christoph D. Schubart, Jesús E. Conde, Carlos Carmona-Suárez, Fernando Alvarez, José L. Villalobos & Darryl L. Felder (2007). Stimpson, 1860 (Brachyura: Portunidae), based on two partial mitochondrial genes"Callinectes"Molecular phylogeny of the American .  
  5. ^ M. M. Chacur & M. L. Negreiros-Fransozo (2001). (Decapoda, Portunidae) in Ubatuba Bay, São Paulo, Brazil"Callinectes danae"Spatial and seasonal distribution of .  
  6. ^ Melany P. Puglisi (August 1, 2008). "Callinectes ornatus".  
  7. ^ a b c Perry and Larsen (2004). "Guide to Shelf Invertebrates, Gulf of Mexico".  
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.