General Description

Body mottled dark and pale green-brown, wider than long. Five triangular spines on the side of the carapace (upper shell) behind each eye. The ends of the fourth walking legs are slightly flattened with sharp-angled tips. Up to 10 cm wide (carapace).

Biology

European Shore Crabs were first recorded in Port Phillip Bay in 1900, introduced there accidentally as a hitch-hiker on ships from the UK or Europe. They have since spread throughout coastal Victoria, eastern South Australia and northern Tasmania. The crab is very aggressive, with strong pincers (chelipeds). It competes with and feeds on native species and may be a threat to these species. To prevent the spread of this invasive crab, recreational anglers must not use European Green Shore Crabs as live bait or return live unused crabs to the water.

Distribution

Worldwide. Isolated populations along southern Australian coast. In Victoria, European green shore crabs have been found in Gippsland, Port Phillip Bay and west to Apollo Bay.

Habitat

Most areas, including rocky reef, seagrass and sand flats, to a depth of 60 m.

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