Captain Terry Murray was tending his pots today when he ran across this full blue crab. “I have been pulling pots for as long as I can remember and I have never seen one of these. Soft crabs are blue in the light, but then turn brown when they harden. I was told this is a genetic failure, when I called the local university, and that is why it is blue. I have pulled over ten thousand bushels of crabs in my life, I was told this is a one in a million crab.” I asked Terry if he was going to have the crab mounted and he said I am on the Google right now looking for just that. Commercial water-men see all kinds of strange things since they are on the water day in and day out. This is one for the record books for Captain Terry and i am sure he will be on the look out for more colorful crabs,apparently purple and orange are also possible variations. Terry said the color is not done justice in the pictures.
We call them blue crabs but they are not blue but more of a muddy brown color, unless you steam them, then they turn a delicious orange color. Once in a great while a crabber will catch an albino crab or one of these full blue crabs. The white crabs are albino crabs, but the blue ones are something else. Some scientists say the crabs are all blue due to a color variant or a parasite that affects the muscles and shell. In an article by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science … “Professor Jeff Shields notes that purple coloration can be caused by a parasite that affects both the muscles and shell. He has seen this phenomenon “two or three times” in crabs from Chesapeake Bay. Shields has also seen a rare orange coloration that is caused by a virus. He says that the “true-blue” blue crab (one caught a few years ago) appears to be a color variant and not an infection”. At least once a year I see one of these caught on the east coast and usually by a commercial crabber. I have yet to see a purple one but I have heard that color is possible as well.