Chinese mitten crab (Eriocheir sinensis)

Key features

  • Hairy "mittens" on claws unlike any Australian crab
  • 4 spines on either side of eyes
  • 4 sharp spines in between eyes
  • Shell is smooth & up to 8 cm wide


  • Burrows into mud on river banks, estuaries & coastal areas
  • Adults in freshwater for first 4–5 years
  • Usually tropical waters


  • Burrowing causes erosion; damages fishing gear & impacts aquaculture activities
  • Hosts liver fluke (Paragonimus species) that is harmful to human health

Known locations

  • Not yet in Australia

What you can do

  • Inspect & clean niche areas & antifoul your vessel regularly
  • Clean & dry equipment before transporting & using in a different location

Learn more

Read the national biofouling management guidelines for your sector.

Report immediately Outside known locations!

  • Note the exact locations
  • If possible, collect a sample and freeze in a plastic bag or take a photo
  • See for your state contacts

Report a sighting

Back to the interactive pests map