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Chinese Mitten Crab

Eriocheir sinensis


Mitten Crabs are one of very few crabs in North America found in freshwater. Adults and juveniles (>1 inch) have furry white-tipped claws that are equal in size. Their light brown to olive green body (carapace) is is 3 to 4 inches wide in adults, it's smooth and round and has a 4 lateral spines (behind each eye), although the forth spine may be small.There is a U-shaped notch in the carapace between the crab’s eyes. They have four sharp-tipped walking legs and a claw on each side, but lack a modified swimming leg or paddle. The legs are over twice the length of the carapace.


Freshwater and estuaries in California, Mid-Atlantic from Maryland to New York and its potential range includes coastal waters from Virginia to Texas, the Great Lakes, and US Gulf Coast.


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一扬 2 years ago


CariRitzenthaler 7 years ago

I've heard these guys are invasive to the great lakes, is that true?

Aaron_G 8 years ago

Moved to Arthropods

PatrickJamesTwohig 9 years ago

Sweet mittens, perfect for the cold :P

HeatherMiller 9 years ago

So I'm just throwing an idea to you, but have you sent a press release (and emails) to the newspapers & fish reporters at the radios, TVstations, and newspapers, and Florida DNR, and even city councils of fishing towns along the coast especially if Sand Dunes or barrier islands protect their coast lines, and Fishing Co-ops in this area, especially the net fishermen who might catch as by-catch when shrimping or oyster fishermen? The message could go out to recreational fishermen but the commercial fishermen are the ones that might actually have the experience with different stages of different animals to get some actual help to you. Maybe you all already talk to each other :-).

picnik not Photoshop...ok, another free resource I"ll look into, thanks.

MonacaNoble 9 years ago

I'm not sure about sand dunes, but they have done damage to levees. There have only been a few mitten crabs spotted on the Gulf Coast and we defiantly need more information. BTW I added the text to the photo using picnik, a free online photo editor.

HeatherMiller 9 years ago

Monkey-mind and Nana-puppet, thanks for the compliment.

HeatherMiller 9 years ago

Awesome photoshop work on the other spotting for the Mitten Crab site where the guy is holding the crab. I'm in Destin, Florida (Gulf Coast) this weekend and so I'm looking at all the crabs, water birds, and fishes today. I clicked on your link and thought to myself...either you took the pictures on the Mitten Watch site, or you had someone borrow your pictures. I've seen lots of animals and plants this trip, but not any crabs, Mitten or otherwise. From the sounds of it, they would do serious damage in New Orleans, Everglades, and some parts of South Florida, or wherever levees are. Do they like sand dunes or just mud levees?

MonacaNoble 9 years ago

Hi Heather,

I posted these photos for the mitten crab mission. I helped create the Mitten Crab Watch Website. I am hoping others will share there spottings with me.


hm, you are very attentive Heather

HeatherMiller 9 years ago

Did you take this picture for the MItten Crab Watch site?

HeatherMiller 9 years ago

Great notation and additions to the picture. I noticed you had another picture of the crab in another spotting. You can add up to 6 pictures in one spotting, if it is one spotting. This is a nice feature to allow you to show different angles and poses of the animals. You share a lot of great information about a freshwater crab. I knew of Brackish water crabs, because my grandparents used to catch them in crab traps off the docks. Great spotting.

Spotted by

Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Spotted on Jul 18, 2011
Submitted on Jul 18, 2011

Spotted for Mission

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