Chesapeake Bay Introduced Species Database

Eriocheir sinensis

Common name(s):
Chinese Mitten Crab
The Chinese Mitten Crab is the only catadromous crab in the Atlantic. Catadromous means that they spend their adult lives in freshwater and their larval and juvenile lives in salt water; therefore you could find one of these fuzzy-clawed crabs in a freshwater stream or in your crab pot. Because mitten crabs invaded the Atlantic Coast only a few years ago, we don?t know very much about their status as an established population. But we are very concerned about them because in other areas where they have established populations they have caused both ecological and economic harm. We need your help to monitor and control the population while these crabs are still rare. If you find one, log in to Mitten Crab Watch ( and report your catch.
Image courtesy of CA Dept of Fish and Game.


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