Purse Crab

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Project Description

Purse Crab

Persephona punctata

Range/Geographical Distribution: North Carolina to the Gulf of Mexico.

Habitat: Shallow, subtidal waters along beaches and bays.

Description: A small crab with a round, globular shell that is pale yellow with red/purple irregular markings.

Size: Can reach two inches in carapace (shell) width.

Food:  Dead and live fish, crabs, clams, and other invertebrates.

Breeding: Mate during the summer. The fertilized eggs are brooded on the female’s abdomen until they hatch.  Newly hatched larvae go through free-floating planktonic stages before settling onto the benthos.

Predators: Crabs, birds, and fish.

Conservation Status: No legal status.

Interesting Facts: Female purse crabs carry their eggs in a large pouch on their abdomen, which somewhat resembles a woman’s purse.

On the Coast: Purse crabs sometimes wash up live on Georgia’s beaches but more commonly beachcombers will find pieces of their molts (shed exoskeleton).

Project Details


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