How to measure a Stone Crab's Claw
The size of a stone crab claw is considered to be the length of the propodus. The propodus is the larger, immovable part of the claw. Legal-sized (harvestable size) claws are 70 mm (23/4 inches) or greater in propodus length. The measurement is taken from the base of the propodus (at the joint of the elbow) to the outer tip of the propodus (Figure 3). In general, male claws are larger than female claws for a crab of the same carapace (shell) size. The largest male claws are about 140 millimeters (mm), or roughly 5½ inches long. The largest female claws are about 120 mm (4¾ inches). The largest stone crab claw collected by the FWRI researchers was 148.9 mm (5 3/4 inches).
- Gerhart, S.D., and T.M. Bert. 2008. Life-history aspects of stone crabs (genus Menippe): size at maturity, growth, and age. Journal of Crustacean Biology 28(2): 252-261.
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