World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Jonah crab

Article Id: WHEBN0006098993
Reproduction Date:

Title: Jonah crab  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: LOCAD, Cancroidea, Horsehair crab, Cryphiops caementarius, Oratosquilla oratoria
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Jonah crab

Jonah crab
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Crustacea
Class: Malacostraca
Order: Decapoda
Infraorder: Brachyura
Family: Cancridae
Genus: Cancer
Species: C. borealis
Binomial name
Cancer borealis
Stimpson, 1859

The Jonah crab (Cancer borealis) is a marine brachyuran crab that inhabits waters along the east coast of North America from Newfoundland to Florida.[1] Jonah crabs possess a rounded, rough-edged carapace with small light spots, and robust claws with dark brown-black tips. The maximum reported carapace width for males is 222 mm, while females rarely exceed 150 mm[2]

Habitat and Seasonal Movement

Jonah crabs have been reported at depths of up to 750 m.[1] Habitat preferences for Cancer borealis range from rocky substrate in Rhode Island and the Gulf of Maine to silt and clay substrate on the continental slope.[2] It is widely accepted that this species moves offshore in the fall and winter, and females have been documented moving inshore in late spring and summer.[3]


According to stomach content analysis on individuals from the Gulf of Maine, the diet of Cancer borealis consists of mussels, arthropods, snails, and some algal species. Blue mussels (Mytilus edulis) composed more than 50% of analyzed stomach contents.[4]


Jonah crabs have long been caught as bycatch in lobster traps. In the past twenty years, particularly in New England, landings have increased due to increased fishing pressure and market demand. Landings of Cancer borealis in the United States rose from 2-3 millions pounds annually in the 1990’s to more than 17 million pounds in 2014. In 2014, 70.05% of landings came from Massachusetts, followed by Rhode Island with 24.43%. Jonah crabs are not managed federally in the United States, but instead are managed by individual states. An Interstate Fishery Management Plan was published in August 2015 by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission [3]


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^
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.