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Horseshoe Crabs


Candidate Species for Florida Aquaculture: American Horseshoe Crab Limulus polyphemus

FA254/FA254by Lena Donnarumma, Brittany J. Scharf, Jeffrey E. Hill, and Cortney L. OhsDecember 23, 2022The American horseshoe crab, Limulus polyphemus, is a member of the phylum Arthropoda, subphylum Chelicerata, and class Merostomata. Although there are four horseshoe crab species worldwide, the American horseshoe crab is primarily found in the Atlantic Ocean along the East Coast of North America. The species ranges from Maine to Mexico, but is absent between Texas in the United States and Tabasco in Mexico. They mainly inhabit estuarine areas; however, juveniles and adults can venture into the shallow oceanic environments. Embryo development occurs in the intertidal zone of sandy beaches. Sandy or muddy bottom habitats are necessary for burrowing and benthic feeding. This publication will cover their natural history, aquaculture techniques, common diseases, and their uses and markets.  

The American Horseshoe Crab (Limulus polyphemus)

SG190/SG190 by Savanna Barry, Holly Abeels, and Shelly KruegerFebruary 12, 2024A UF/IFAS numbered peer reviewed Fact Sheet. Published by ==Natural Resources==

Related IFAS Blog Posts

Florida Horseshoe Crab Watch – Pensacola Bay – Spring 2024 Report

Rick O'ConnorMay 29th, 2024The horseshoe crab (Limulus polyphemus) is one of those creatures that was once more abundant in the Pensacola Bay system half a century ago, declined, and is now trying to make a resurgence.  The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, along with Florida Sea Grant, has a citizen science program called The Florida Horseshoe Crab […]

Horseshoe Crab Search – 2023 Spring Report

Rick O'ConnorSeptember 15th, 2023The horseshoe crab is an ancient creature.  Fossil records suggest it has been around for at least 400 million years.  Today there are four species left on the planet, the one found in the United States is Limulus polyphemus and it can be found along the east and Gulf coasts.  In recent years there has […]

National Estuaries Week – Horseshoe Crabs

Rick O'ConnorSeptember 22nd, 2022Another creature that was once common in Pensacola Bay, declined, and is trying to make a comeback is the horseshoe crab.  Many know about the shallow area in the center of Little Sabine, but you may not know that it was once an island that the locals called Horseshoe Crab Island because of how common […]

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