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You are here: Home / Aquatic Species / Species Profiles / European Green Crab
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European Green Crab

European green crabScientific name: Carcinus maenas (Linnaeus, 1758) (ITIS)

Common names: European green crab, shore crab, Joe rocker

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Selected Resources

Native To: Europe (Carlton and Cohen 2003)

Date of U.S. Introduction: 1817 (East Coast); 1980s (West Coast) (Carlton and Cohen 2003)

Means of Introduction: Possibly through ballast water, hull fouling, or intentional releases (Carlton and Cohen 2003)

Impact: Preys on bivalves and other crustaceans, such as soft-shell clams and scallops (Grosholz and Ruiz 2002)

Current U.S. Distribution: North Atlantic coast; Pacific Coast



Selected Resources:

Council or Task Force

Species of Concern Fact Sheet: European Green Crab
Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force.

Priority Species: Invasive Crabs
Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office. Washington Invasive Species Council.


NEANS Panel Online Guide - Green Crab
Northeast Aquatic Nuisance Species Panel.

The Quiet Invasion: A Guide to Invasive Species of the Galveston Bay Area - European Green Crab, Mediterranean Green Crab
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Galveston Bay Estuary Program; Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC).

The Exotics Guide: Non-native Marine Species of the North American Pacific Coast (Revised Sep 2011) - Carcinus maenas
San Francisco Estuary Institute; Center for Research on Aquatic Bioinvasions.

Invasive Species Compendium - Carcinus maenas
CAB International.

Global Invasive Species Database - Carcinus maenas (crustacean)
IUCN. Species Survival Commission. Invasive Species Specialist Group.

Federal Government

National Exotic Marine and Estuarine Species Information System (NEMESIS) - Carcinus maenas
Smithsonian Institution. Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. Marine Invasions Research Lab.

International Government

Marine Pests - European green crab (Carcinus maenas)
New South Wales Department of Primary Industries (Australia).

State Government

Invasive Species - European Green Crab (Carcinus maenas)
Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Aquatic Invasive Species - European Green Crab
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.


Introduced Species Summary Project - European Green Crab
Columbia University. Center for Environmental Research and Conservation.

Green Crab Team
Washington Sea Grant.


Non-Indigenous Aquatic Species of Concern for Alaska - Green Crab (May 4, 2004; PDF | 161 KB)
Prince William Sound Regional Citizens' Advisory Council.
See also: Marine Invasive Species for more fact sheets


Carlton, J.T. and A.N. Cohen. 2003. Episodic global dispersal in shallow water marine organisms: the case history of the European shore crabs Carcinus maenas and C. aestuarii. Journal of Biogeography 30(12):1809-1820.

Grosholz, E. and G. Ruiz. 2002. Management Plan for the European Green Crab (PDF | 517 KB) Submitted to the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force by the Green Crab Control Committee.

Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Carcinus maenas. [Accessed Sep 10, 2014].

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Last Modified: Jul 21, 2018
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