Crabs are the most popular seafood delicacy that you can easily enjoy almost anywhere, anytime you want. So what are the difference between male and female crabs? Which is better in taste?
If you are trying to decide between a male vs female crab to be the perfect choice for your dinner, here are some things you should know about each.
5 Ways To Tell Male Vs Female Crab Apart
To differentiate between male and female crabs, simply look at these 5 main features of theirs:
Crab size: Male crab is typically larger than females. However, the size of the crab can vary greatly according to the species, the living environment and other external factors. That’s why you can barely know which is which just by looking at the size. Try looking for other characteristics, too.
Crab apron/abdominal flap: The easiest way to tell male vs female crabs apart is by looking at its apron, or abdomen. Female crabs have a round and wide apron, while male crabs have a pointed, triangle-shaped one. The reason is that the females need bigger abdomens for egg-rearing.
This part of the crab is often colored red, so you can notice the apron by checking the size of the crab’s pincers and looking for red highlights on them.
Crab shell: Another difference is that male crabs are more robust and have thicker shells than female crabs. If you’re unsure, try holding a crab by the shell. The rear walking legs should stick out of the shell. You should also notice black spots on the crab’s body. If these dots are present, the crab is female.
Crab claws: In addition to the shell’s shape and size, claws are another way to tell the difference between male and female crabs. The claws of a female crab are usually smaller than those of a male. Masculine crabs have blue claws, whereas females have red claw tips. In order to identify a crab’s gender, you need to carefully observe its claws.
Male Crab vs Female Crab Taste
When choosing crabs to buy, you should know the differences between masculine and feminine ones. First, do male or female crab has more meat? As male crabs are larger and have bigger claws, they often offer more meat than females do.
However, note that the meat from female crabs tend to be more tender and sweet. It is also firmer and flakier, according to some reports.
Male Or Female Crabs: Which Is Better?
Knowing all the difference, you might wonder, are male or female crabs better to eat? Typically, masculine crabs are more popular than feminine ones. Being generally bigger in size and having larger claws, they have more meat than their female partners.
As for the taste, some say there is no difference in taste, while others some people prefer male blue crab meat over female.
Masculine crabs shed their shells twenty times, while feminines shed it eighteen times. This means the meat of male crabs is more delicate and flaky than that of females.
However, some favor females more for their dense meat. Female crabs are also prized in their roe and their meat have a slightly sweeter flavor.
To decide which is better, male or female crabs is totally up to you and your personal preference.
If you want a lavish meal with a lot of juicy and delicious crab meat, you should opt for the males. When you are in the mood for some rich roe and firm, sweet meat, you can go for the females.
Both sounds perfectly fine for a seafood occasion with your family and friends!
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Female vs Male Crab: King Crab And Blue Crab
Two of the most commonly seen species are King crab and Blue crab. So how do you choose between the male vs female crabs of these two species?
Male vs Female King Crab: King crabmeat is white with streaks of red and a mild flavor. It breaks off in large pieces and costs around $47 a pound. Crabmeat from male crabs retains the memory of pain and is a bit tougher. Some scientists say it’s time for new laws that consider the suffering of all crustaceans.
Male vs Female Blue Crab: As for blue crab, are male or female blue crabs better to eat? Although both are delicious, there are some differences between the male and female meat. The female is slightly sweeter than the male, which makes it a more expensive option. The female molt stage of the blue crab is also longer than the male’s, meaning that the meat is more tender.
Are Male Or Female Crabs More Expensive?
Crabs are often priced at between $35 – $75 a dozen and male crabs are more expensive than their female partner.
The gap is not too significant, though. You can buy a dozen of female crabs for about 51 cents – 85 cents cheaper compared to the male crabs.
There are two main reasons for this: It all comes down to demand and supply! As for demand, most people prefer male crabs because they can have more meat for each big, strong male crab they are purchasing. Besides, not everyone are willing to eat female crab’s roe, some, unfortunately, may even find it disgusting and hard to eat.
As for supply, in some regions, harvesting female crabs during peak season is restricted to protect the species. Females only mate once, and produce 3 or 4 batches of eggs in their lifetime. If the catch of female crabs is not kept under control, the reproduction of this species can be in danger.
However, it should be noted that the difference in price is relative and subject to differences in culture. For example, in Asian market where people favor the delicious roe and sweet meat of female crabs, the females are often the more expensive items on the menu.
Health Benefits Of Male And Female Crab
There are many health benefits associated with crab meat, and not just the flavor. It has been shown to boost cognition and improve heart health. It can also boost the immune system and strengthen bones. It is also said to help lower the risk of certain types of cancer. In fact, crab is a great source of vitamin B12, which helps your body produce healthy red blood cells.
Male and female crabs differ in nutritional composition, and males are higher in essential amino acids. They also have higher protein content. The hepatopancreas and muscle of high-salinity crabs are higher in n-3 PUFA, indicating a higher nutritional value.
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Male Vs Female Crabs: Life Span
Crabs have different life spans. Female crabs have a shorter life span, but males are much longer. In general, female crabs have broader, more rounded abdomens than males. Male crabs’ abdomens are concave toward the midline.
A male crab usually mates only one time, and the female mates multiple times. Mating takes place in brackish water from February to November. After a lengthy courtship ritual, the male cradles the soft-shelled female and protects it from predators. The male then carries the soft female until the outer shell hardens.
After mating, female blue crabs migrate southward, while male crabs remain in estuaries. Male blue crabs live in the middle and upper estuaries, where they burrow into the soft mud and hide in sea grasses. Their solitary behavior protects them from predators, but it is a major drawback for their survival. They suffer from low oxygen levels, and pollution from sources can harm them.
Blue crabs are important for the food web as they play an important role in the ecosystem. They can live for three years. They are commonly harvested in Delaware Bay and the Chesapeake Bay. Male crabs mate in the middle of a season, and female crabs mate after molting. Female crabs carry up to 3.5 million fertilized eggs, which are developed into adult crabs in about two weeks.
Fiddler Crabs Migrate South To Mate With A Male
Male fiddler crabs compete with female crabs by showing a larger claw, which increases the chances of mating. The masculine crab will then wave his enlarged claw at the female in an effort to attract the female, who will then enter the male’s burrow and lay her eggs. The female stays in the male’s burrow for about two weeks, leaving it when the eggs are ready to hatch.
The fiddler crab is one of the hundreds of species of crabs that live on the ocean floor. They live on coastal marshes and flats, preferring brackish water. Male fiddler crabs are more colorful than females, which are usually one or two inches long. Their claws are enlarged and they use them to pick up sediment and food.
Fiddler crabs’ large claws and big call help them attract females. Male fiddler crabs must battle against competing males to establish dominance. If they win the fight, they will pass on their genes to the females. Females will usually choose the male with the larger claw because it increases their chances of survival.
Conclusion about Female vs Male Crab
The male and female crabs differ in their morphology. The differences may be related to differences in the selective regimes. These differences may be reflected in the length, width, and mass of claws. In the figure below, the mass of a major claw is denoted by a symbol. The mass of a major claw is directly related to its force.
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