Q:

What animals eat blue crabs?

A:

Quick Answer

At each stage of life, blue crabs are susceptible to a different class of predator, though their most consistent predator is the human being. During the larval stage, blue crabs' most common predators include small species of fish and jellyfish. In their adult, developed stage, larger fish, birds and even many species of mammals will prey on blue crabs.

Continue Reading
What animals eat blue crabs?
Credit: Joanna Pecha E+ Getty Images

Full Answer

Commercial crabbing and human destruction of blue crab habitats have dramatically decreased the blue crab population globally. Particularly in the Chesapeake Bay area, blue crab populations have dropped drastically since the 1990s.

Several species of large fish prey on the blue crab in its adult state. When crabs are molting, their bodies are soft and exposed, making them particularly vulnerable to these fish predators. Some types of fish that prey on blue crabs regularly include red drum, croakers, striped bass, eels and even sharks.

Birds prey on blue crabs in coastal bodies of water and tidal rivers. They typically eat offshore crab larvae, small growing crabs and adult crabs in seagrass beds or marshlands. Examples of birds that prey on blue crabs include herons, egrets and diving ducks.

Many sea turtles are also a common predator, with the sole exception being the green turtle, which sustains itself on a vegetarian diet. The Atlantic Ridley and loggerhead turtle prey on crabs.

It is also noteworthy that the blue crab species is highly cannibalistic, and adults have been seen devouring their own offspring in the larvae stage.

Learn more about Crabs

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What do shore crabs eat?

    A: Shore crabs feed primarily on invertebrates such as molluscs, clams, crustaceans and worms, but they eat practically anything they can get a hold of, inclu... Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How do crabs breathe?

    A: The vast majority of crabs have gills, much like fish, which extract oxygen dissolved in water. Even when they are on land, the gills can still absorb oxyg... Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How long do hermit crabs live?

    A: Hermit crabs kept as pets can easily live for over 10 years if cared for properly. One crab owner, Carol Ormes of Ft. Myers, Florida, kept a pair of crabs ... Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What eats hermit crabs?

    A: Hermit crabs use their shells to hide from predators like seagulls, larger crabs, sea stars and snailfish. These animals are at their most vulnerable when ... Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore