Asian shore crab

Hemigrapsus sanguineus


Photo credit: ©David Fenwick
Hemigrapsus sanguineus - Asian shore crab
  • The carapace of H. sanguineus ranges from green to red, purple and orange brown. Its claws have red spots, and its legs have shaded bands. It is small in size, with a carapace width of 35-40mm. Both males and females have three spines on each side of the carapace; the males also have a fleshy bulb-like structure on their claws.
  • They are a marine species, often found in rocky intertidal zones.

Origin and Worldwide Distribution:
  • This crab is native to the Pacific Ocean around China, Japan, Korea and Russia.
  • It is an invasive species in Belgium, Croatia, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United States of America and is now present in several areas of southern Britain.

Potential or Known Impacts:
  • This species can be highly reproductively successful as females are likely to produce over 50,000 eggs at a time; this can lead to outbreeding native crustacean species.
  • They are also a fast growing and long lived species; they are also highly mobile and may be transported accidently by humans or by water currents.
  • These crabs also can adapt to a wide range of habitats and food sources.

How did it/could it get here?
  • This species may be transported in planktonic life stages or adult stages in ballast water. The planktonic life stages and small instars may go undetected.

Is it found in Ireland or Northern Ireland?
  • It is not present in Ireland or Northern Ireland.

You can help by reporting any sightings:
Methods for Prevention:
  • Do not introduce.
  • Make sure that all equipment is cleaned before moving between different water bodies.
  • Do not move water from one water body to another.
  • Report all sightings.

Species Related Files:

Invasive Species Ireland

Invasive Species Ireland