The Florida stone crab is a crab found in the western North Atlantic, from Connecticut to Belize, including Texas, the Gulf of Mexico, Cuba, The Bahamas, and the East Coast. The crab can also be found in and around the salt marshes of South Carolina and Georgia. It is widely caught for food. The closely related species Menippe adina, better known as the gulf stone crab is sometimes considered a subspecies – they can interbreed, forming hybrids – and they are treated as one species for commercial fishing, with their ranges partly overlapping. The two species are believed to have diverged approximately 3 million years ago.
The bodies of these crabs are relatively small and so are rarely eaten, but the claws (chelae), which are large and strong enough to break an oyster’s shell, are considered a delicacy.
Stone crabs claws are generally sold in four sizes – medium, large, jumbo and colossal.