Crustacean identification redux

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Peekytoe, or Atlantic rock crab

Peekytoe, or Atlantic rock crab

Jonah or rock crab? After whether we should send more troops to Afghanistan, that seems to be the question of the hour. Rick weighed in on the last post, agreeing with my husband. He claimed authoritatively that our crabs were the Atlantic rock crab, otherwise known as the peekytoe.

Since there’s argument about whether a peekytoe is a sand crab or a rock crab or a bay crab, and there’s yet another argument about whether sand crabs, rock crabs, and bay crabs are all the same crab, Rick had the goodness to include the creature’s scientific name, Cancer irroratus.

I’m beginning to think that Kevin and Rick might be right. The claws on the Jonah crab seem a little long and pointed, and ours were short and thick. A New York Times story way back in 1998 said that peekytoes were generally caught as lobster bycatch, which ours certainly were. And peekytoe meat is supposed to be particularly sweet and delicate, which ours definitely was.

So I’m changing my vote from Jonah to Atlantic rock crab.  We might have been able to prove this beyond a shadow of a doubt if we hadn’t eaten all the evidence.

The Jonah claw

The Jonah claw

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Our crab claw

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