When we caught our first female crab with a belly full of eggs, I was surprised at just how large the bunch was in her (sack?) I was unsure whether to call it a pregnant crab, or just a crab with eggs?
I decided to do some research, and I found out some interesting things, like the name ‘Zoea’ which is the name given to the crab’s eggs.
The term “Jimmy” is the male blue crab, (sand crab).
“Sally” is the name for an immature (adolescent) female sand crab. She is still a juvenile because her apron (flap under her belly) is tightly sealed to her body and does not open since she cannot mate or carry eggs.
“Sook” is the name for a mature (adult) female sand crab. It is recognised as having an inverted “U” or bell-shaped apron and red-tipped claws. Her rounded abdomen is free to open and is not sealed shut as the juveniles.
Pregnant” female sand crabs carry the fertilised eggs under their abdomen. The eggs can resemble a sponge, hence the term “sponge” crab. She can produce as many as 45,000 eggs!!!!
It takes about two weeks for the eggs to “ripen” and be released into the water to hatch.
Please take care not to keep any undersized or female crabs. 😊
For more information see here: Source https://www.bluecrab.info/identification.html
In Australia – Information about the blue swimmer crab (sand crab) here https://www.daf.qld.gov.au/fisheries/species-identification/inshore-estuarine-species/blue-swimmer-crab