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Petrolisthes armatus
Image courtesy of João Canning Clode, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
Petrolisthes armatus
Taxonomic Group: Crustaceans-Crabs


The Green Porcelain Crab, Petrolisthes armatus, has a wide range that includes the tropical eastern Pacific from Mexico to Peru, the western Atlantic from North Carolina to southern Brazil, and the eastern Atlantic from Senegal to Angola.  However, its native range is unknown. Introduced populations have been reported from the Atlantic coast of Florida, extending northwards to Cape Fear, North Carolina. As winters get warmer this species may be creeping northward, a phenomenon called Caribbean creep (see the January 2012 feature story for more on this). Since its spread along the southern US East Coast, it has reached very high abundance in Georgia and South Carolina, up to 20,000-30,000 crabs per m2. Reported ecological impacts include altering habitat characteristics and competing with native crabs. The crab inhabits intertidal and shallow subtidal habitats, such as soft sediment, rocky reef, oyster reef and mangroves.

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Fofonoff PW, Ruiz GM, Steves B, Simkanin C, & Carlton JT (2018)
National Exotic Marine and Estuarine Species Information System.
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Marine Invasions Lab
Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

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