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Pier 42 Video

In this video two Blue crabs, Callinectes sapidus, can be seen mating. Blue crabs in this position are referred to as doublers. Leading up to mating (referred to as precopulatory activities), the female will molt or shed her shell leaving her extremely vulnerable to predation. During this period the male will cradle her with his walking legs protecting her from predators while her shell is soft. When the female’s molting is complete the male will turn her over so that their abdomens can touch, commencing copulation. After mating, the male will continue to carry the female until her shell hardens. This can last from two to seven days.