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Mud Crabs—How to Identify Scylla serrata and S. olivacea

 

The Northern Territory of Australia is home to two of the four species of mud crab: the green mud crab (Scylla serrata) and the brown mud crab (S. olivacea).

 

The green mud crab is the most common and has been know to grow to over 3 kilograms and have a shell width of more than 25 centimeters.

 

The brown mud crab only grows to about half the size of the green mud crab, but it is more aggressive.

 

Both species can vary in color, so using color to identify them is not the surest method of identification.

 

The best way to distinguish between the two species is by the length of the spines on the claws.  The green mud crab’s “elbow” has more than one prominent sharp spine, and it claws are usually dark green to purple.  The brown mud crab’s “elbow” has one small blunt spine or no spines at all.  Its claws are usually light brownish orange.

 

These two species of mud crab are the only ones farmed in Bangladesh (See Pictures).

 

Sources: 1.  NT News.  How to Identify Mud Crab Varieties at a Pinch.  Evan Needhamnt.  October 23, 2015. 2. Bob Rosenberry, Shrimp News International, October 24, 2015.

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