PORT PHILLIP BAY


European Shore Crab 

Carcinus maenas (Linnaeus, 1758)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Dorsal surface granular; frontal region produced, median lobe most advanced and not setose, submedians wide and obtuse; posterior margins of carapace almost straight. Chelipeds slightly unequal. Walking legs 1-4 smooth, moderately stout; dactylus of last styliform, compressed and with margins setose.

Source: Poore, G.C.B. (2004) Marine decapod Crustacea of southern Australia. A guide to identification (with chapter on Stomatopoda by Shane Ahyong). CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne, 574 pp.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Arthropoda
Subphylum:
Crustacea
Class:
Malacostraca
Subclass:
Eumalacostraca
Superorder:
Eucarida
Order:
Decapoda
Suborder:
Pleocyemata
Infraorder:
Brachyura
Family:
Portunidae
Subfamily:
Carcininae
Genus:
Carcinus
Species:
maenas

General Description

Body mottled dark and pale green-brown, wider than long. Five triangular spines on the side of the carapace behind each eye. The ends of the fourth walking legs are slightly flattened with acute 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. It has since spread throughout coastal Victoria, eastern South Australia and northern Tasmania. The crab is very aggressive, with strong chelipeds. It feeds on native shore crabs and may be a threat to these species.

Habitat

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

Reefs

Soft substrates

Seagrass meadows

Coastal shores

Distribution guide

Worldwide. Isolated populations along southern Australian coast. In central Victoria.

Species Group

Crabs and allies Crabs

Depth

Shore (0-1 m)
Shallow (1-30 m)
Deep ( > 30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

10 cm

Diet

Carnivore

Harmful

Not harmful but a nip from claws could be painful.

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Introduced to Australia

Species Code

MoV 1658

Conservation Status

  • DSE Advisory List : Not listed
  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Not listed

Author

article author Taylor, J.

Dr. Jo Taylor is the Sciences Collections Online Coordinator at Museum Victoria.

Author

article author Poore, G.C.B.

Dr. Gary Poore is Principal Curator Emeritus at Museum Victoria.

citation

Cite this page as:
Taylor, J. & Poore, G.C.B., 2011, European Shore Crab, Carcinus maenas, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 23 Oct 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/3880

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