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Queenstown waterman nets purple crab, returns it to bay

QUEENSTOWN — Watermen often haul blue crabs out of the Chesapeake Bay by the bushel — but a purple crab?

Queenstown waterman Jake Marzucco told The Star-Democrat of Easton that he recently netted the uniquely colored crab and took photos of it before returning it to the bay. The photograph shows the male crab with a distinctly purple underbelly, and white legs and claws that are also purple in parts.

Brenda Davis, blue crab program director for the Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Service, says several crabs are caught every year with unusual coloring. Davis says the color is likely due to genetics, not the environment.

Two years ago, a Romancoke waterman caught a purple crab. He dubbed it ‘the Ravens crab’ in honor of the team’s color.