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You are here: Home / Aquatic Species / Species Profiles / Chinese Mitten Crab
Aquatic Species
Species Profiles

Chinese Mitten Crab

Chinese mitten crabScientific name: Eriocheir sinensis (ITIS)

Common name: Chinese mitten crab

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  • Mitten Crab Watch
    Smithsonian Environmental Research Center.
    Are you a crabber, waterman, or concerned citizen? SERC needs your help to detect and assess the status of Chinese Mitten Crabs along the Atlantic and the Gulf Coasts. This site provides information on the invasion of the mitten crab and allows users to more easily report catches.

    Mitten Crabs can have economic and ecological impacts in their introduced range, especially during periods of high abundance. Effects of mitten crabs on the East Coast are not yet known, because this is a relatively recent invasion and has not been studied. The first confirmed record on the East Coast was in 2005, a crab was caught by a commercial crabber in the Chesapeake Bay near Baltimore, Maryland.

Selected Resources

Native To: Pacific coast of China and Korea (NAS Database)

Date of U.S. Introduction: 1991 (West Coast); 2005 (East Coast) (NAS Database)

Means of Introduction: Ballast water (also possibly through intentional releases) (Cohen and Carlton 1997)

Impact: Interference with fish salvage operations, fish passage facilities, water treatment plants, power plants, and other facilities (Cohen and Weinstein 2001)

Current U.S. Distribution: West Coast; Great Lakes; Chesapeake Bay

Federally Regulated:



Selected Resources:

Council or Task Force

Species of Concern Fact Sheet: Chinese Mitten Crab
Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force.

Stop the Invasion: Mitten Crab (May 2011; PDF | 472 KB)
Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office. Washington Invasive Species Council.
See also: Outreach and Educational Materials - Invasive Species Fact Sheets for more resources


Rhode Island Marine & Estuarine Invasive Species Site - Chinese Mitten Crab
Narragansett Bay Research Reserve. Coastal Training Program.

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

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

TISI Inventory - Chinese Mitten Crab
Texas State University System. Texas Invasive Species Institute.

Invasive Species Compendium - Eriocheir sinensis
CAB International.

Delivering Alien Invasive Species Inventories for Europe (DAISIE): Species Factsheet - Eriocheir sinensis
European Commission. Sixth Framework Programme.

NOBANIS: Invasive Alien Species Fact Sheet - Eriocheir sinensis (2011; PDF | 441 KB)
European Network on Invasive Alien Species.
See also: NOBANIS Fact Sheets for invasive alien species of the European region, covering both animals and plants, as well as microorganisms

Non-native Species Information: Chinese Mitten Crab
Great Britain Non-Native Species Secretariat.

Global Invasive Species Database - Eriocheir sinensis (crustacean)
IUCN. Species Survival Commission. Invasive Species Specialist Group.

Mitten Crab Recording Project
Mitten Crab Recording Project (United Kingdom).

Federal Government

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

Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database: Fact Sheet - Chinese Mitten Crab
DOI. USGS. Wetland and Aquatic Research Center.
Provides distribution maps and collection information (State and County).


California's Invaders: Chinese Mitten Crab
California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Chinese Mitten Crab in the Hudson River Estuary
New York Department of Environmental Conservation.

Invasive Species - Chinese Mitten Crab
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.


Factsheet: Chinese Mitten Crab
Pennsylvania State University. Pennsylvania Sea Grant.
See also: Aquatic Invasive Species: Resources for additional species information

Chinese Mitten Crab Facts
Washington Sea Grant.


Non-Indigenous Aquatic Species of Concern for Alaska - Chinese Mitten Crab (May 4, 2004; PDF | 120 KB)
Prince William Sound Regional Citizens' Advisory Council.
See also: Marine Invasive Species for more fact sheets


Cohen, A.N. and J.T. Carlton. 1997. Transoceanic transport mechanisms: introduction of the Chinese mitten crab, Eriocheir sinensis, to California. Pacific Science 51(1):1-11.

Cohen, A.N. and A. Weinstein. 2001. The Potential Distribution of Chinese Mitten Crabs (Eriocheir sinensis) in Selected Waters of the Western United States with U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Facilities (PDF | 636 KB) (Tracy Fish Collection Facilities Studies, Vol. 21). U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Eriocheir sinensis. [Accessed Sep 10, 2014].

Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Fact Sheet - Chinese Mitten Crab. USGS, Gainesville, FL. [Accessed Sep 16, 2014].

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Last Modified: Jul 21, 2018
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