Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Waterman Catches, Releases Rare Purple Crab

The purple crab Jake Marzucco, a commercial crabber in Queenstown, found recently is not common, said Brenda Davis, blue crab program director for the Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Service.

Davis said the coloration, on this crab's belly and claw, is not that different from skin pigmentation in people. It's likely a genetic glitch and has nothing to do with the crab's environment.

"We tend to get a few crabs every year that are overly blue or overly white," Davis said. "It's not unheard of, but it's not common."

Two years ago, a Romancoke waterman caught a similar crab. He quickly termed it a Ravens crab because of its coloring.
A friend of mine who worked on crabs and caught thousands of them across a span of 30 years has a fine collection of freak crabs, including albinos and ones with odd shells.  The most interesting to me was one with a "double" claw.  The unmoving part of the claw was double, like a mirror image, and it had two moving parts.  Definitely scary looking.  I never saw a purple one, though.

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