4100 Northpoint Blvd.
Baltimore, Maryland 21222

Call For Reservations: 410.477.1975

Let’s Learn More About Blue Crabs!

Let’s Learn More About Blue Crabs!

Blue crabs have a reputation as scavengers, which isn’t really inaccurate.

When we think of crabs in this town, we usually picture them bright red and covered in spices, fresh from the steamer, but they were originally blue, hence their name “blue crabs”.  Before these delicious beauties make it to our table, they are an important part of the aquatic ecosystem. Read on for four cool facts about this long-standing Maryland food tradition.

Blue Crabs Are Population Control

Blue crabs have a reputation as scavengers, which isn’t really inaccurate. They will eat almost anything. They tend to prefer clams, mussels, snails, and plants, but they also eat dead fish, and when there isn’t enough food they will eat smaller blue crabs. They are natural population control for the other species they eat, which makes them an important part of the aquatic ecosystem. In communities where the blue crabs are overfished, the other species can get a little out of hand.

They Are Invasive (In Other Areas)

Blue crabs have a large natural habitat. They thrive in salt marshes and brackish estuaries, which is why they are such an iconic part of the Chesapeake Bay. Their natural habitat extends as far north as Nova Scotia, westward into the Gulf of Mexico, and as far south as Argentina. In these places, they are an important part of the ecosystem, as they have natural predators and appropriate food sources. They have spread out of these areas, however, likely by traveling in ships ballast. The blue crab was first spotted in Egyptian waters in the 1940s and has also been seen in Italy, Greece, Turkey, and even Israel. In those areas, the blue crab is a dangerous, invasive species, that can do more harm than good. To counteract their effects, the local populations have worked them into the economy as a food source, much like we did.  

Blue Crab Females and Males Look Different

Both female and male crabs have the iconic blue tint that gives them their common name. In females, however, the tips of their claws are tinted with red highlights. Females also have a differently shaped apron on their underside. The apron is a folded surface on the crabs’ bellies (and where the opening and eating process of steamed crabs often starts). On males, the apron is a distinct T shape. On females, it looks more triangular, and once the females are older it becomes a very rounded triangle.

Their Scientific Name Is Beautiful

We know them best by their common name, blue crab, but their scientific name is Callinectes sapidus. This scientific name if part Latin and part Greek: Callinectes is Greek for “beautiful swimmer” and sapidus is Latin for savory. Altogether, it is a beautiful and totally accurate scientific name!


Costas Inn has been a Baltimore tradition since 1971. You may recognize our restaurant, which was recently featured on the Food Network with Michael Symon on Burgers, Brew, and ‘Que! We were also voted the 2015 #1 Baltimore Seafood Restaurant by USA Today, as well as #1 Crab Restaurant 2014 in the Baltimore Business Journal. You may have also spotted Costas Inn during one of our 9 appearances on the Today Show or heard one of our many interviews on WJZ TV Channel 13 with Ron Matz and Marty Bass.

You can enjoy our famous crab cakes in-house or order them online for any time eating. We also provide some of the best seafood catering in the Baltimore area! You can also get your fill from Costas even when you’re not in our dining room: follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and YouTube!

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Taste a Baltimore Tradition!

You can now order our famous and award winning Maryland crabcakes online and we'll ship them fresh to your door. We will gladly ship them nationwide. Crabs, crab cakes, party packages, clothing, seasonings, and more available to order online now!

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  • Online Gift Card

    Online gift cards make a great gift that can be redeemed for any products available at costasinn.com only. Not redeemable at the restaurant.

  • More Information About Crabcake Delivery: What Are Some of Our House Policies?

    Costas Inn Gift Card

    A 10.95 charge will be applied for next day delivery on Gift Certificates. If you desire regular shipping via USPS, please call Pete at 410-477-1975.  

    $25.00 - $100.00 buy
  • 5 oz. Maryland Jumbo Lump Crabcake

    One 5 oz. Maryland Jumbo Lump Crab Cake  Garnish and roll not included

    $20 buy
  • 10 Pack 5 oz. Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes

    A Costas tradition since 1971: 5 ounces of all Jumbo Lump crabmeat made with Costas seafood spices. A local favorite!

    $190 buy
  • What Makes a Maryland Crab So Special?

    8 oz. Maryland Jumbo Lump Crab Cake

    One 8 oz. Maryland Jumbo Lump Crab Cake.  Garnish not included

    $29 buy
Costas Inn
5 stars - based on 699 reviews
4100 Northpoint Blvd. Baltimore , Maryland
410-477-1975 URL of Map Categories: Seafood Price Range: $$ Takes Reservations: yes
Costas Inn
5 stars - based on 695 reviews
4100 North Point Boulevard Baltimore , Maryland 21222
(410) 477-1975 URL of Map Categories: Seafood & Crabs Price Range: $$ Takes Reservations: yes