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Blue swimmer crab

Other namesSand crab
Scientific namePortunis armatus (pelagicus)
Size RangeMaximum length — 22cm
Size limits on takesMinimum size 11.5cm
Possession limits on takes(females are protected and must be immediately returned unharmed to the water)
Description
  • males are blue or purple with pearly white mottling
  • female crabs are much less colourful, being drab brown with pale mottling
  • females are much smaller than males
  • there are nine sharp spines on the carapace and the tips of the last pair of legs are disc-shaped for swimming
  • the carapace has a prominent projection on each side and claws are long and slender
Distribution
  • inhabit coastal waters from Cape Naturaliste in Western Australia, around the north of Australia to the south coast of New South Wales
  • bays, estuaries and intertidal areas to depths of 60 m
  • prefer muddy or sandy bottoms but can also be found on rubble, seagrass and seaweed