Feeding Ecology of Sri Lankan Blue Swimming Crab (Portunus pelagicus) Caught in Negombo Coastal Waters

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  • H. A. C. C PERERA Department of Zoology and Environmental Management, Faculty of Science University of Kelaniya, Kelaniya, GQ - 11600, Sri Lanka http://orcid.org/0000-0001-8681-9663
  • S. W. WICKRAMAGE Department of Zoology and Environmental Management, Faculty of Science University of Kelaniya, Kelaniya, GQ - 11600, Sri Lanka



Bottom set gillnet, Feeding ecology, Portunus pelagicus, Swimming crab


The feeding habits of blue swimming crab was investigated using 250 specimens collected from bottom set gillnets in Negombo coastal waters of Sri Lanka from April to October in 2019. Out of total specimens observed, the weight range of male and female crabs was 22.45 - 334.6 g and 23.0 - 275.35 g respectively. Carapace width of crabs varied from 7.3 - 15.7 cm for males and 3.6 to 15.8 cm for females. Analysis of stomach of crabs showed 51% were empty, 25% were 25% filled, 10% were 50% filled, 5% were 75% filled and 9% were 100% filled. The main food items were mollusc remains (55.37%), arthropod parts (20.66%), fish remains (10.74%), synthetic items (23.97%), sand and debris (36.36%), algae (4.13%) and miscellaneous (35.54%). There was no significant difference of food items in terms of frequency of occurrence, percentage points and index of relative importance between sexes as well as size classes of the crab analyzed (P>0.05). It can therefore be concluded that blue swimming crabs are opportunistic omnivores with a preference for animal prey.


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How to Cite

PERERA, H. A. C. C., & WICKRAMAGE, S. W. (2021). Feeding Ecology of Sri Lankan Blue Swimming Crab (Portunus pelagicus) Caught in Negombo Coastal Waters. Journal of the Indian Society of Coastal Agricultural Research, 39(2), 161-171. https://doi.org/10.54894/JISCAR.39.2.2021.110565