Glossary
Terminology Description
Terminology Description
Antenna(pl. antennae) The long segmented appendages located behind the eyestalks. These allow the crab to interact with its environment by touch and chemoreception.
Antennule (pl. antennules) Shorter segmented appendages located between and below the eyestalks, sensory organs; these also use chemoreception to "smell" and "taste".
Appendages Ten legs (five pairs) including a claw-bearing pair with spines used for feeding and defense, followed by three pairs of sharply pointed walking legs, and a pair modified as flat swimming paddles at the rear, swimming legs.
Apron Abdomen of a crab, which is folded under the body; male's is narrow and long. Amature female's is semicircular, like the dome of the capitol building.
Carapace The shell covering the body. It provides protective covering. It is made of chitin and covers cephalothorax of the crab.
Cheliped The first pair of legs, carries the large claw which is used for defense and obtaining food. Male's claws are blue tipped with red; female's are red.
Eyes Visual organs mounted on the ends of eyestalks. The eyestalks contain cells that release hormones that inhibit molting and the development of gonads.
Lateral spines Paired points on the widest outside edges of the carapace.
Sponge Egg masses. Numbers of eggs vary, some may contain as many as
Swimmerets (pleopods) Paired abdominal appendages under the apron of the female crab on which the eggs are carried until they hatch.
Swimming Legs The last paired abdominal appendages, flattened for swimming.
Walking legs 3 pairs. Used for movement; crabs are capable of walking forward or diagonally, but usually they walk sideways.
Gills Place of respiration and filtration, consisting of many plume-like filaments arranged around a central axis. There are eight gills on each side.
Heart The pump of the circulatory system. It is broad in size and located in the lower center part of the body.
Hepatopancreas Digestive gland. Large organ with several functions, including the secretion of digestive enzymes and absorption of digested food. It fills most of the area around the stomach, depending on its contents of food and water.
Intestine Portion of the digestive system through which digested food passes.
Stomach The organ of the digestive system that breaks down swallowed particles of food. It is lined with small hard plates and projections.
Testes Part of the male reproductive system, located on top of the hepatopancreas on either side of the stomach.
Ovaries Female reproductive organs that produce eggs and leading to the oviducts where eggs are released.
Cartilage Encases muscles that aid in movement of the legs. The muscles are the edible portion of the crab.
Crocodilian A member of the order Crocodylia, a group which includes crocodiles, alligators, caimans and gharials.