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Asian shore crab, Hemigrapsus sanguineus


Short description of Hemigrapsus sanguineus, Asian shore crab

A small crab with a square carapace (shell) up to 4.5 cm, variable in colour from orange-brown to greenish-black.  Three distinct ‘teeth’ on each side of the carapace and banding on the walking legs are distinguishing features, as is a fleshy bulb at the pincer base of larger males. The teeth on the carapace are more acute than those of H. takanoi a closely related species.

Description of Hemigrapsus sanguineus, Asian shore crab status in GB

First recorded in South Wales and Herne Bay, Kent in spring 2014. Specimens have been reported from Jersey and Guernsey since 2009.

Habitat summary: Hemigrapsus sanguineus, Asian shore crab

The Asian shore crab inhabits estuarine and marine habitats and occurs within the intertidal or shallow subtidal zones.  It is typically found on more exposed rocky shores but also occurs in soft sediments under the shelter of rocks or shells, artificial structures, mussel beds and oyster reefs. 

Overview table

Environment: Marine
Species status: Non-Native
Native range: Pacific, Hokkaido, Honshu, Kyushu, Shikoku, West Pacific coast
Functional type: Predator
Status in England: Non-Native
Status in Scotland: Non-Native
Status in Wales: Non-Native
Location of first record: Barry South Wales
Date of first record: 4

Distribution map

Map of the UK with areas shaded to show the UK distribution of Asian shore crab

GB Distribution from NBN Atlas

Author's name:

Natalie Sweet & Jack Sewell

Last updated:

August 3rd 2016

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