Portunus pelagius Click to enlarge image
Blue Swimmer Crab Image: Brooke Carson-Ewart
© Australian Museum

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    armatus
    Genus
    Portunus
    Family
    Portunidae
    Infraorder
    Brachyura
    Order
    Decapoda
    Class
    Malacostraca
    Subphylum
    Crustacea
    Phylum
    Arthropoda
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    19 cm

Introduction

The Blue Swimmer Crab is named for its distinctive colour.

Identification

The Blue Swimmer Crab is easily recognised by its distinctive shape and colour, and its large front pincers.

Female Blue Swimmer Crabs are known as 'jennies' and are less colourful than the males.

Habitat

Generally, the Blue Swimmer Crab occurs in the deeper waters of intertidal estuaries but occasionally it enters shallower waters.

Distribution

The Blue Swimmer Crab is found from Northern Queensland to Eden in New South Wales; Western Australia and the South Australian gulfs; also New Zealand and New Caledonia.

Seasonality

The Blue Swimmer Crab is a popular food in Australia and is targeted and caught in large numbers by professional and recreational fishers. These crabs enter estuaries as juveniles and grow quite quickly, maturing after one year.