Chinese Mitten Crab
Eriocheir sinensis - Visit ITIS for full scientific classification.
DescriptionChinese Mitten Crab. © 2000 Regents, University of California
- Claws are hairy ("mittens").
- Color varies from brown-orange to brown-green.
- Carapace can get up to 3 inches long. Legs get up to twice the length of the carapace.
- Lives in freshwater, and breeds in saltwater.
- Found in estuarine environments, lakes, riparian zones, rivers, streams, and canals.
Invasion Pathways and Distribution
- Native to East Asia.
- Found throughout northern and central California.
- Believed to have come to the U.S. via ballast water.
- Spreads via dispersal in connected waterways and through migration over land and in water.
- Visit USGS for a current U.S. distribution map.
- Individuals are either male or female.
- Females carry eggs that hatch into larvae and live in the water column prior to settling out in rivers, creeks, etc.
- Lives in freshwater and breeds in saltwater.
- Burrows and erodes banks in tidal areas.
- Damages infrastructure, and interferes with fishing gear and water facility operations.
- Opportunistic and sometimes destructive feeders.
References and Useful Links
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