MD - Horseshoe Crabs Return to Maryland Shores for Spawning

Public Can Help Document Spawning Sites

The horseshoe crab — Limulus polyphemus — is returning to Maryland’s coastal shores this month for one of the world’s oldest and largest wildlife migrations.

Each spring adult horseshoe crabs migrate into the coastal bays from offshore overwintering areas to spawn on sandy beaches and, to a lesser extent, subtidal habitats.

Spawning occurs on the spring high tides from May through early August, peaking on the day of or after each full and new moon of these months. The annual peak in spawning activity generally occurs around the full and new moon in mid-June.

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