(Courtesy of Virginia Institute of Marine Science)
These edible crabs have rear legs that are flat and paddle-like for swimming. They have a wide grayish or bluish-green shell (carapace) with spines on each side. The fingers of the claws are bright blue in males and red in females. Their carapace width (from spine tip to spine tip) may grow up to 9" (23 cm). They live in brackish waters, near muddy bottoms. The abundance of blue crabs in Narragansett Bay varies widely from year to year.