Key West Stone Crab
Stone crabs aren't just a delicious meal that tourists can grab on their Florida vacation. They are also one of the many fascinating aquatic animals swimmers can view in the wild when on a Key West dive. Though there are a couple different species that can be found in the warm waters near Florida, in Key West the Florida Stone Crab will be spotted the most often. The Gulf Stone Crab and the regally named King Crab are two other sub-species of crab. The King Crab in particular can be found all over the world. Though they should only be harvested from mid-October through mid-May, they can be admired year round. Divers will never see these little ocean dwellers in the same way after viewing them in their native environment.
Stone Crab Appearance
Stone crabs are covered in a hard shell that has spikes and ridges erupting from it. Their overall color is a deep orange or red on top, with a paler shade underneath them. They have one claw that is dramatically larger than the other, which can grow back after being harvested. The claws are black at the tips.
Stone Crab Eating Habits
Stone Crab Habitats
Though Florida and Gulf Crabs are found mainly in the western Atlantic ocean, they are sometimes also seen further inland in salt marshes or other hospitable environments. Oyster reefs, seagrass beds, coral reefs and other generally rocky coastal environments that provide shelter and cover are favorite spots for this shy creature.