Asian shore crab (Hemigrapsus sanguineus) competes with and preys on crabs, and shellfish, particularly juvenile mussels or oysters.
What to look for
- squarish shell, green–purple to orange–brown to red
- three spines along the outside of the shell behind each eye
- banding pattern on walking legs – distinguishing feature in juveniles
- red spots on claws
- males have a bulbous projection (pulvinus) on the bottom finger of each claw
- shell up to 5cm wide
- no hairs on the legs
- ridge below the eye is finely striated
- Shell is a smooth undeviating line between the eyes.
Where to look
Look in or around:
- artificial structures
- under debris, rocks and shells
Likely habitats include:
- intertidal rocky coasts
- shallow water; if population is high and competition for space exists.
Established in Victoria . Asian shore crabs were detected in Port Phillip Bay in 2020.
Similar native species
These native species look similar to Asian shore crab. They do not need to be reported.
- yellow shell with mottled red, brown and purple markings
- no spines to sides of eyes
- smooth rounded shell up to 4cm wide.
- sheltered or moderately exposed rocky and boulder-covered shores.
- has fewer spines along its shell
- hair on legs
- intertidal zones, estuaries, salt marshes and within mangroves
- Is widely distributed in tropical zones throughout the Indian Ocean and South Pacific Ocean
See something unusual? Report it. Even if you’re not sure.
If you see something you think is a pest:
- note the exact location (screenshot your map app or enable photo geotagging on your phone)
- take a photo (use something for size reference, for example a coin)
- contact your state or territory authority.
Stop the spread of marine pests
Start with these simple steps:
- Inspect and clean your boat or yacht. Make sure you check hard to reach areas.
- Treat the hull of your boat or yacht regularly.
- Clean and dry your fishing and diving gear after every use.
The map shows known pests and pests to look for around Australia.