Chinese Mitten Crab

3rd March 2008, Monday

This beastie was brought in by two of our volunteers yesterday, having been found dead on Camber shore about ten days ago. It is a Chinese Mitten Crab (Eriocheir sinensis). The ‘mittens’ are a layer of soft hairs on the claws (somewhat matted on this individual). As the name suggests this is a native of China which has spread around the world, with the first record in Britain in 1935. It is now common in the estuaries of the Thames and Medway and has been recorded as far north as the River Tyne, and closer to home, at Dungeness and Shoreham. This species has the potential to become something of a pest in Britain, undermining river banks with it’s digging and possibly posing a threat to native species. In other countries where it has turned up it has even made a nuisance of itself by ‘invading’ properties and premises close to water! For further information, click here
mitten crab