The Sargassum Swimming crab is a species of pelagic crab in the family Portunidae. It is also known as Portunus sayi, and is found in the western Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. There it makes it’s home among floating mats of Sargassum seaweed. It was actually named in honor of the American naturalist Thomas Say.
The Sargassum Swimming crab occurs in the western Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. It’s range extends from Nova Scotia and the Gulf of Maine to southern Florida, the Bahamas and the Gulf of Mexico. Read some more information about this crab species below.
Sargassum Swimming Crab Characteristics
The Sargassum Swimming crab has a smooth and shiny carapace which is nearly twice as broad as it is long. It has six frontal teeth on each side. Generally the claws are larger in males than in the females, and the spines the bear have orange margins. The legs, carapace and claws are generally pale brown in color with large white or flesh-colored blotches. But the brown color may have a purplish or greenish tinge.
The Sargassum Swimming crab are specially adapted for swimming rather than walking (as it’s fourth pair of legs are modified with flattened, paddle-like surface) like other members of it’s family. They generally swim sideways rather than forwards, and can move surprisingly swiftly. They can grow to a length of about 5-7.5 cm.
Main diet of the Sargassum Swimming crab includes fish, crustaceans, hydroids, polychaete worms etc.
Precopulatory courtship ritual is common in the Sargassum Swimming crabs (usually indirect sperm transfer).
The Sargassum Swimming crab can swim sideways, rather than forwards and can move surprisingly swiftly. It is generally found at depths down to about 18 meters.
The crab has been found as an epibiont of loggerhead turtles along with the goose barnacles Lepas anatifera and Conchoderma virgatum, various other crabs, sea spiders, tunicates and hydroids. However, review full breed profile of the Sargassum Swimming crab in the table below.
Sargassum Swimming Crab | Breed Profile
|Name||Sargassum Swimming Crab|
|Binomial Name||Portunus sayi|
|Special Notes||Can swim sideways, move surprisingly swiftly, generally found at depths down to about 18 meters|
|Climate Tolerance||Native climate|
|Body Color||The legs, carapace and claws are generally pale brown in color with large white or flesh-colored blotches. But the brown color may have a purplish or greenish tinge.|
|Availability||Western Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea|