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by Dr B Laxmappa, Fisheries Development Officer, Telangana, India

ud crabs, also known as mangrove crabs, occur widely in estuaries and along tropical, subtropical and warm temperate coasts in the world. There are four species of mud crab (Family: Portunidae), Scylla serrata, S. tranquebarica, S. paramamosain and S. olivacea that are the focus of both commercial fisheries and aquaculture production throughout their distribution. They are among the most valuable crab species in the world, with the bulk of their commercial production sent live to market. Mud crab constitutes an important secondary crop in the traditional prawn or fish culture systems in some of the coastal states & Union Territories and has become increasingly  popular by virtue of its meat quality and large size. In India, the mud crabs have come into prominence in the early


eighties with the commencement of live crab export to the South East Asian countries which has created a renewed interest in the exploitation as well as in the production of mud crabs through aquaculture see Table 1. Among six, two species of mud crabs, namely Scylla serrate and Scylla tranquebarica  are found in the inshore seas, estuaries, backwaters, coastal lakes and mangrove swamps of all maritime states on the main land and the creeks and bays of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Both the species co-exist in the inshore sea as well as in the inland brackish waters preferring muddy or sandy bottom.

The immense market demand for mud crab

Scylla serrata, commonly known as the mud crab or green crab, has an immense market demand all over the world, particularly in

22 | May | June 2016 - International Aquafeed

May | June 2016 - International Aquafeed