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Invasive Crabs & Crayfish

Green Crab

  • Scientific Name

    Carcinus maenas

  • Description
    • Carapace up to 60 mm (2.4 in) long and 90 mm (3.5 in) wide.
    • Carapace has five short teeth along the rim behind each eye, and three undulations between the eyes.
    • Color varies greatly, from green to brown, gray, or red.
  • Habitat
    • Soft bottom shorelines and estuaries.
  • Invasion Pathways and Distribution
    • Native to European and North African coasts.
    • Introduced by ship hulls, sea planes & packing materials.
    • It has spread to many coast lines throughout the world where it is considered an invasive species.
  • Life History
    • This predatory crab mainly eats bivalves (up to 40 perday) but will also eat crustaceans and worms.
    • Females can lay up to 185,000 eggs.
    • Can tolerate a wide range of salinity and water temperature.
  • Impacts
    • Out competes native species for food and habitat.
    • Direct predation of native organisms leading do declining numbers.
  • References and Useful Links