† Populations may not be currently present.
Impact of Introduction: Callinectes bocourti is associated with C. sapidus in many estuaries along the South and Central American coasts. The two species share similar life history traits, thus competition for food and refuge may occur. Although C. bocourti is commercially exploited in Central and South America, it is a smaller crab and less desirable for processing in the United States. Competition among C. bocourti, C. sapidus, and C. similis in northern Gulf of Mexico estuaries may limit populations of one or more of the species. Chace and Hobbs (1969) and Norse (1975) note that C. bocourti can exist in polluted, muddy waters and that C. sapidus is absent from these areas in the Caribbean.
Callinectes bocourti has been shown to have a dietary overlap, and therfore consume nearly the same prey items, as C. sapidus, the native blue crab. Although this might be evidence for possible competition between the two species in C. bocourti's introduced range, both did coexist in the study area of their native Puerto Rico (Stoner and Buchanan 1990).
References: (click for full references)
Chace, F. A. and H.H. Hobbs. 1969. The freshwater and terrestrial decapod crustaceans of the West Indies with special reference to Dominica. Bulletin U.S. National Museum 292:1-258.
Gore, R.H. and R. E. Grizzle. 1974. Studies on decapod Crustacea from the Indian River region of Florida. III. Callinectes bocourti A. Milne-Edwards, 1879 (Decapoda, Portunidae) from the central east coast of Florida. Crustaceana 27(3):306-308.
Hartman, L. 2000. (personal communication). Alabama Department of Natural Resources, Dauphin Island, Alabama.
Norse, E. A. 1975. The ecology of blue crabs, genus Callinectes (Brachyura:Portunidae) in the Caribbean. Dissertation, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, 259 pp.
Perry, H. 2004. (personal communication). Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, University of Southern Mississippi, Ocean Springs, Mississippi.
Perry, H.M. 1971. The occurrence of Callinectes bocourti (A. Milne-Edwards, 1879) (Decapoda:Portunidae) in Biloxi Bay, Mississippi, U.S.A. Crustaceana 25(1):110.
Perschbacher, P.W. and F. Schwartz. 1979. Recent records of Callinectes danae and Callinectes marginatus (Decapoda: Portunidae) from North Carolina with environmental notes. Fishery Bulletin 76(4):879-880.
Provenzano, A.J. 1961. A North American record for Callinectes bocourti (A. Milne-Edwards, 1879) (Decapoda, Portunidae). Crustaceana 3(2):167.
Schubart, C.D., J.E. Conde, C. Carmona-Suarez, R. Robles, and D.L. Felder. 2001. Lack of divergence between 16S mtDNA sequences of the swimming crabs Callinectes bocourti and C. maracaiboensis (Brachyura: Portunidae) from Venezuela. Fishery Bulletin 99:475-481.
Stoner, A.W., and B.A, Buchanan. 1990. Ontogeny and overlap in the diets of four tropical Callinectes species. Bulletin of Marine Science 46(1):3-12.
Williams, A.B. 1974. The swimming crabs of the genus Callinectes (Decapoda: Portunidae). Fishery Bulletin 72(3):685-798.
Williams, A.B. and D. M. Williams. 1981. Carolinian records for American lobster, Homarus americanus, and tropical swimming crab, Callinectes bocourti, postulated means of dispersal. Fishery Bulletin 79(1):192-198.
This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.