Facts about Stone Crabs, "Scientific name for Stone Crab is Menippe mercenaria". Stone Crab is a variety of crab that belongs to the genus Menippe of the Menippidae family. The Stone Crabs are largely found in the western parts of North Atlantic, ranging from Connecticut to Belize, as well as Texas, Cuba, the Gulf of Mexico and the Bahamas, where it is extensively caught for food. The closely associated crab variety, the Gulf Stone Crab, is occasionally considered a sub variety of this crab variety. The Stone Crab are interbred, creating hybrids, and they are considered as a single species for profitable fishing, with their ranges partially overlapping. The two varieties were supposed to depart about three million years ago.
An adult Stone Crab will have a carapace width, ranging from 5 inches to 6 1/2 inches (130 mm to 170 mm). The Stone Crabs have a brownish red color body with gray color spots and a brown colored underside. They have big and unevenly-sized claws with black color tips. Besides the customary sexual dimorphism shown by crabs, the female Stone crab has a bigger carapace than its male counterpart of an analogous age, and generally, male Stone Crabs have bigger claws than the females. The major predators of the Stone crab include grouper, horse conch, sea turtles, octopuses, cobia and humans.
The Stone crab misplaces its limbs effortlessly to flee from tight spaces or its predators, but the limbs will cultivate back. When a claw of the Stone Crab is wrecked such that the diaphragm at their body or claw joint is left unbroken, the injury will heal itself quickly and only extremely little blood is lost. However, if the claw of the Stone Crab is wrecked in the wrong place, additional blood is lost and the odds of survival of the Stone Crab are remote. Every time the Stone Crab molts, the fresh claw grows bigger.
The Stone crab will molt only at night or in the night-like situations because of their extreme susceptibility to its predators without the defense of its shell. If the Stone Crab is turning out to be excessively big for its shell and during the sunrise, the Stone Crab discharges a hormone from a gland situated on one among their eye stalks, known as the x-organ. This hormone puts off the Stone crab from molting from its shell, pending it finds a protected place to molt or it has turned out to be sufficiently dark, outside to molt safely.
The Stone crab prefers to feed on polychaete worms, oysters and other small mollusks, and other crustaceans. The Stone Crab will also rarely feed on carrion and sea grass.
Usually, the female Stone Crab attains the sexual maturity after two years of their birth. Their extended spawning period continues all through the summer and the spring seasons, during which occasion female Stone Crabs will lay a maximum of one million eggs. The larvae will develop in the course of six phases in four weeks earlier than coming out of the egg as young crabs. The male Stone Crab will usually wait for the female Stone Crab to molt her exoskeleton earlier than the crabs mate. Subsequent to mating, the male Stone Crab will stay to assist protect the female Stone Crab for a number of hours to numerous days. The female Stone Crab will spawn four to six times in each reproduction period.
Their average lifespan of the Stone Crab ranges from 7 years to 8 years.