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  • Hemigrapsus sanguineus (Photo: US Geological Survey website - www.usgs.gov)
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Common name
Asian shore crab (English), Japanese shore crab (English)
Synonym
Similar species
Summary
Hemigrapsus sanguineus is commonly called the Asian shore crab and is native to the Asia-Pacific region. It has a very broad diet and, in its introduced range, has the potential to affect populations of native species, such as crabs, fish and shellfish by disrupting the food web. It also occupies habitats very similar to native mud crabs. Hemigrapsus sanguineus may compete with larger species, like the blue crab, rock crab and the non-native green crab.
Species Description
Hemigrapsus sanguineus has several distinguishing characteristics. It has a somewhat square carapace which is usually patterned and dark in colour, ranging from brownish orange to greenish black. Each side of the carapace has three distinct anterolateral teeth. H. sanguineus has a readily observable banding pattern on the walking legs. Male crabs possess a fleshy knob at the base of the dactyl of the cheliped, as well as relatively larger and more robust claws than females (Ledesma and O'Connor, 2001). The abdomen of mature females is wider than that of male crabs (Mcdermott 1998a). Benson (2005) states that, \"This species is small with adults ranging from 35mm (1.5 in) to 42mm (1.65 in) in carapace width.\"
Notes
In their studies, Jensen et al. (2002) found that, \"When competing for food against H. sanguineus, the non-native green crab (Carcinus maenas) was usually the first to find the bait yet was almost invariably dislodged shortly thereafter by H. sanguineus. This typically did not involve overt aggression or chelae displays on the part of the H. sanguineus, but rather the use of the body and legs as a wedge to displace the C. maenas from the food. H. sanguineus rarely used their chelae for grasping their opponent or defending the bait; rather, approaching C. maenas were fended off with kicks from the walking legs while the chelae continued to be used for feeding.\"
Lifecycle Stages
Benson (2005) reports that in its introduced range, \"Hemigrapsus sanguineus is highly reproductive with a breeding season from May to September, twice the length of native crabs. The females are capable of producing 50,000 eggs per clutch with 3-4 clutches per breeding season. The larvae are suspended in the water for approximately one month before developing into juvenile crabs.\" Ledesma and O'Connor (2001) report that, \"Life history studies suggest that H. sanguineus has a high reproductive potential, facilitating a rapid rate of dispersal and colonization of new areas (Fukui 1988; Mcdermott 1991, 1998a).\"
Habitat Description
Hemigrapsus sanguineus inhabits any shallow hard-bottom intertidal or sometimes subtidal habitat, with the highest densities occurring at the middle and lower intertidal elevations. It can live on artificial structures and on mussel beds and oyster reefs, and is usually found under the shelter of rocks, shells and other debris on tidal flats. It will search along the fringe of tidal flats as the tide recedes for unusused burrows to occupy. Lohrer et al. (2000) found that the availability of shelter sites influenced the density and distribution of H. sanguineus. H. sanguineus can tolerate a wide range of salinities and temperature, as well as damp conditions in the upper intertidal regions (Benson, 2005). It coexists with mud crabs in the family Xanthidae, juvenile green crabs (Carcinus maenas), and occasionally the rock crab, Cancer irroratus (Benson, 2005; Brousseau et al. 2003; Ledesma and O'Connor, 2001).

The primary habitat of H. sanguineus in Japan is crevices among boulders on rocky intertidal shores (Fukui, 1988; in Gerard et al. 1999). In the Western Pacific the distribution of H. sanguineus ranges from ~20 to 50 N latitude including Hong Kong and Taiwan, the Chinese and Korean coasts, and all of Japan (Mcdermott, 1998).

Reproduction
Gerard et al. (1999) states that \"The reproductive output of this species is impressive: mature females may have two or more broods annually, with a mean clutch size of 15,000 and a maximum of at least 50,000 eggs per crab (Fukui 1988; McDermott 1998b). Planktonic larval stages, which last for about a month under optimal temperature and salinity conditions (Epifanio et al. 1998), provide a mechanism for dispersal. Growth and maturation are rapid: newly settled juveniles have a mean carapace width (CW) around 2mm and reach 20mm in about two years (Fukui, 1988). The crabs become reproductively mature at this age and, although growth is slower in mature crabs, they can reach a maximum CWof 40mm, corresponding to a maximum lifespan of around eight years.\"

Ledesma and O'Connor (2001) states that, \"Mcdermott (1998a) suggested that the length of the reproductive period of H. sanguineus is related to latitude and therefore water temperature. In southern parts of Japan, the breeding season is 8 months long (Fukui 1988), whereas in northern Japan, it lasts 3 months (Takahashi et al. 1985). Whereas breeding occurred through September at Gooseberry in Buzzards Bay, ovigerous females were found only until early August in Sandwich in Cape Cod Bay.\"

Nutrition
Gerard et al. (1999) states that \"Like many grapsid crabs, Hemigrapsus sanguineus is an opportunistic omnivore, consuming a wide variety of plant and animal foods in the field and in captivity (Fukui 1988; McDermott 1991, 1998b; Takahashi and Matsuura 1994; Lohrer and Whitlatch 1997).\"

Principal source: Brousseau et al. 2001. Laboratory investigations of the effects of predator sex and size on prey selection by the Asian crab, Hemigrapsus sanguineus.
Benson, 2005. Nonindigenous Species Information Bulletin Asian shore crab, Japanese shore crab, Pacific crab, Hemigrapsus sanguineus (De Haan) (Arthropoda: Grapsidae).

Compiler: National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII) & IUCN/SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG)

Review: Dr Greg Jensen

Publication date: 2006-11-16

Recommended citation: Global Invasive Species Database (2016) Species profile: Hemigrapsus sanguineus. Downloaded from http://www.iucngisd.org/gisd/species.php?sc=756 on 29-09-2016.

General Impacts
Hemigrapsus sanguineus has the potential to cause significant changes in the inshore marine and estuarine communities of southern New England and mid-Atlantic coast, and predation by H. sanguineus on several species important to the structure of Atlantic rocky intertidal communities provides the strongest evidence to date that H. sanguineus has the potential for significant ecological impact in its introduced range (Gerard et al. 1999).

The intertidal distribution of H. sanguineus overlaps that of juvenile (non-native) green crabs (Carcinus maenas), particularly in the northern part of their range. Furthermore, H. sanguineus is dependent on rock cover and anecdotal reports suggest C. maenas has become uncommon under rocks in some areas since the arrival of H. sanguineus (Jensen et al. 2002). It is debatable whether there is evidence that H. sanguineus is negatively impacting on native crabs (G. Jensen, pers. comm.). Brousseau et al. (2003) found that mud crabs were actually competitively dominant over H. sanguineus.

Laboratory studies have shown that H. sanguineus readily consumes three species of commercial bivalves: blue mussels Mytilus edulis, soft-shell clams Mya arenaria, and oysters Crassostrea virginica (Brousseau et al. 2001; Benson, 2005). The high densities of H. sanguineus which occur in the wild, their effectiveness as predators of juvenile bivalves and their large appetites suggest an important role for these predators in restructuring the prey communities in habitats into which they have been introduced (Brousseau et al. 2001).

Management Info
Preventative measures: Ballast water management is being researched to reduce or eradicate new introductions from occurring. Scientists are monitoring changes in native species, tracking the shore crab's spread along the US Atlantic coastline, and conducting experiments to increase their knowledge of basic biology and ecology of this species (Benson, 2005).

Biological: It is possible that species such as tautogs, drums, sheepshead and seagulls prey upon H. sanguineus (Benson, 2005; G. Jensen, pers. comm.). Parasites, which help control populations of H. sanguineus in its native range, are not present along the US Atlantic coast (Benson, 2005).

Countries (or multi-country features) with distribution records for Hemigrapsus sanguineus
NATIVE RANGE
  • japan
  • russian federation
Informations on Hemigrapsus sanguineus has been recorded for the following locations. Click on the name for additional informations.
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Details of Hemigrapsus sanguineus in information
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Impact information
Hemigrapsus sanguineus has the potential to cause significant changes in the inshore marine and estuarine communities of southern New England and mid-Atlantic coast, and predation by H. sanguineus on several species important to the structure of Atlantic rocky intertidal communities provides the strongest evidence to date that H. sanguineus has the potential for significant ecological impact in its introduced range (Gerard et al. 1999).

The intertidal distribution of H. sanguineus overlaps that of juvenile (non-native) green crabs (Carcinus maenas), particularly in the northern part of their range. Furthermore, H. sanguineus is dependent on rock cover and anecdotal reports suggest C. maenas has become uncommon under rocks in some areas since the arrival of H. sanguineus (Jensen et al. 2002). It is debatable whether there is evidence that H. sanguineus is negatively impacting on native crabs (G. Jensen, pers. comm.). Brousseau et al. (2003) found that mud crabs were actually competitively dominant over H. sanguineus.

Laboratory studies have shown that H. sanguineus readily consumes three species of commercial bivalves: blue mussels Mytilus edulis, soft-shell clams Mya arenaria, and oysters Crassostrea virginica (Brousseau et al. 2001; Benson, 2005). The high densities of H. sanguineus which occur in the wild, their effectiveness as predators of juvenile bivalves and their large appetites suggest an important role for these predators in restructuring the prey communities in habitats into which they have been introduced (Brousseau et al. 2001).

Red List assessed species 0:
Management information
Preventative measures: Ballast water management is being researched to reduce or eradicate new introductions from occurring. Scientists are monitoring changes in native species, tracking the shore crab's spread along the US Atlantic coastline, and conducting experiments to increase their knowledge of basic biology and ecology of this species (Benson, 2005).

Biological: It is possible that species such as tautogs, drums, sheepshead and seagulls prey upon H. sanguineus (Benson, 2005; G. Jensen, pers. comm.). Parasites, which help control populations of H. sanguineus in its native range, are not present along the US Atlantic coast (Benson, 2005).

Bibliography
32 references found for Hemigrapsus sanguineus

Managment information
Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science (CEFAS)., 2008. Decision support tools-Identifying potentially invasive non-native marine and freshwater species: fish, invertebrates, amphibians.
Summary: The electronic tool kits made available on the Cefas page for free download are Crown Copyright (2007-2008). As such, these are freeware and may be freely distributed provided this notice is retained. No warranty, expressed or implied, is made and users should satisfy themselves as to the applicability of the results in any given circumstance. Toolkits available include 1) FISK- Freshwater Fish Invasiveness Scoring Kit (English and Spanish language version); 2) MFISK- Marine Fish Invasiveness Scoring Kit; 3) MI-ISK- Marine invertebrate Invasiveness Scoring Kit; 4) FI-ISK- Freshwater Invertebrate Invasiveness Scoring Kit and AmphISK- Amphibian Invasiveness Scoring Kit. These tool kits were developed by Cefas, with new VisualBasic and computational programming by Lorenzo Vilizzi, David Cooper, Andy South and Gordon H. Copp, based on VisualBasic code in the original Weed Risk Assessment (WRA) tool kit of P.C. Pheloung, P.A. Williams & S.R. Halloy (1999).
The decision support tools are available from: http://cefas.defra.gov.uk/our-science/ecosystems-and-biodiversity/non-native-species/decision-support-tools.aspx [Accessed 13 October 2011]
The guidance document is available from http://www.cefas.co.uk/media/118009/fisk_guide_v2.pdf [Accessed 13 January 2009].
Hayes, K., Sliwa, C., Migus, S., McEnnulty, F., Dunstan, P. 2005. National priority pests: Part II Ranking of Australian marine pests. An independent report undertaken for the Department of Environment and Heritage by CSIRO Marine Research.
Summary: This report is the final report of a two year study designed to identify and rank introduced marine species found within Australian waters (potential domestic target species) and those that are not found within Australian waters (potential international target species).
Available from: http://www.marine.csiro.au/crimp/reports/PriorityPestsFinalreport.pdf [Accessed 25 May 2005]
General information
Ahl, R. S., and S. P. Moss. 1999. Status of the nonindigenous crab, Hemigrapusus sanguineus, at Greenwich Point.... Northeastern Naturalist 6(3): 221-224.
Breton G., M. Faasse, P. Noel, and T. Vincent. 2002. A new alien crab in Europe. Hemigrapusus sanguineus (Brachyurea: Grapsidae). Journal of crustacean biology 22(1): 184-189.
Brousseau, D. J., A. Filipowicz, and J. A. Baglivo. 2001. Laboratory investigations of the effects of predator sex and size on prey selection by the Asian crab, Hemigrapusus sanguineus. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol.. 2001 Jul 30;262(2):199-210.
Brousseau, D. J., K. Kriksciun, and J. A. Baglivo. 2003. Fiddler crab burrow usage by teh Asian crab, Hemigrapusus sanguineus, in a Long Island Sound salt marsh. Northeastern Naturalist 10(4):415-420.
Casanova, T. 2001 The ecology of the Japanese Shore Crab (Hemigrapsus sanguineus De Haan) and its niche relationship to the Green Crab (Carcinus maenas Linneus) Along the coast of Connecticut, U.S.A. In Abstracts: Second International Conference on Marine Bioinvasions, March 9-11, 2001. New Orleans, LA
Summary: The Japanese shore crab was found to be having a negative impact on the green crab population.
Available from http://massbay.mit.edu/resources/pdf/MarinePDF/2001/MBI2001abs2.pdf [Accessed Sept 20 2004]
DeGraaf, J. D., and M.C. Tyrrell. 2004. Comparison of the Feeding Rates of Two Introduced Crab Species, Carcinus maenas and Hemigrapusus sanguineus, on the Blue Mussel, Mytilus edulis. Northeastern Naturalist: Vol. 11, No. 2, pp. 163-167.
Epifanio, C.E., Park, S., Grey, E.K. and Waidner, L.A. 2003. Interactions between the asian shore crab (Hemigrapsus sanguineus) and the common mud crab (Panopeus herbstii): Larval supply vs post-settlement competition. In Abstracts: Third International Conference on Marine Bioinvasions, March 16-19, 2003. Scripps Institution of Oceanography La Jolla, California
Summary: The displacement of the native common mud crab by the invasive asian shore crab maybe due to competition at a post-larval stage.
Available from http://massbay.mit.edu/resources/pdf/MarinePDF/2003/MBI2003abs3.pdf [Accessed Sept 20 2004]
Gerard, V. A., R. M. Cerrator, and A. A. Larson. 1999. Potential impacts of a western Pacific grapsid crab on intertidal communities of the northwestern Atlantic Ocean. Biological Invasions 1: 353-361, 1999.
Jensen, G. C., P. S. McDonald, D. A. Armstrong. 2002. East meets west: competitive interactions between green crab Carcinus maenas, and native and introduced shore crab Hemigrapsus spp. Mar Ecol Prog Ser Vol. 225: 251-262.
Kraemer, G.P. and Sellberg, M. 2001. Effects of the non-native crab Hemigrapsus sanguineus on crab community diversity at Edith Reed Sanctuary (Rye, NY) from 1998-2000. In Abstracts: Second International Conference on Marine Bioinvasions, March 9-11, 2001. New Orleans, LA
Summary: Report into the expansion and increase in Japanese shore crab abundances.
Available from http://massbay.mit.edu/resources/pdf/MarinePDF/2001/MBI2001abs6.pdf [Accessed Sept 20 2004]
Ledesma, M. E., and N. J. Connor. 2001. Habitat and Diet of the Non-Native Crab Hemigrapusus sanguineus in Southeastern New England. Northeastern Naturalist: Vol. 8, No. 1, pp. 63-78.
Lohrer, A. M., and R. B. Whitlatch. 2002. Interactions among aliens: Apparent replacement of one exotic species by another. Ecology. 83(3). March, 2002. 719-732.
Lohrer, A.M.; Whitlatch, R.B.; Wada, K. and Fukui, Y. 1999. Patterns and predictability of biological invasions: A theoretical framework and case study using the Western Pacific Shore Crab Hemigrapsus sanguineus. In Abstracts: First National Conference on Marine Bioinvasions, January 24 -27, 1999. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
Summary: Development of a theoretical framework for the prediction of the effects of invasive species and the application of this framework on H. sanguineus.
Available from http://massbay.mit.edu/resources/pdf/MarinePDF/1999/MarineAbs7.pdf [Accessed Sept 20 2004]
Mcdermott. J. J. 1998. The western Pacific brachyuran (H. sanguineus: Grapsidae), in its new habitat along the Atlantic coast of the United States: geographic distribution and ecology. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 55: 289-298. 1998
O Conner, N.J. 2001. The Asian Shore Crab Hemigrapsus sanguineus In New England: Changes in resident crab populations? In Abstracts: Second International Conference on Marine Bioinvasions, March 9-11, 2001. New Orleans, LA
Summary: The Asian shore crab and its influences on local and established populations of crabs.
Available from http://massbay.mit.edu/resources/pdf/MarinePDF/2001/MBI2001abs8.pdf [Accessed Sept 20 2004]
Park, S. 1999. Early life history of Hemigrapsus sanguineus, a nonidgenous crab, in the Middle Atlantic Bight (USA). In Abstracts: First National Conference on Marine Bioinvasions, January 24 -27, 1999. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
Summary: Investigation into the juvenile stage of the H. sanguineus.
Available from http://massbay.mit.edu/resources/pdf/MarinePDF/1999/MarineAbs9.pdf [Accessed Sept 20 2004]
Percival, S.R. and Wilson, K. 2001. Feeding and substrate preferences of the Japanese Shore crab, Hemigrapsus sanguineus. In Abstracts: Second International Conference on Marine Bioinvasions, March 9-11, 2001. New Orleans, LA
Summary: Investigation into the substrate preferences and feeding behaviour of the invasive crab.
Available from http://massbay.mit.edu/resources/pdf/MarinePDF/2001/MBI2001abs8.pdf [Accessed Sept 20 2004]
Richards, B. and Jensen, B. 1999. The incidence of Hemigrapsus relative to salinity values in the Delaware estuary and the inland bays of Delaware. In Abstracts: First National Conference on Marine Bioinvasions, January 24 -27, 1999. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
Summary: Attempt to explain why Hemigrapsus has established in a large American estuary but not a smaller estuary.
Available from http://massbay.mit.edu/resources/pdf/MarinePDF/1999/MarineAbs10.pdf [Accessed Sept 20 2004]
Schubart, C. D. 2003. The East Asian shore crab Hemigrapsus sanguineus (Brachyure: Varunidae) in the Mediterranean Sea: an independent human-mediated introduction. Sci. Mar. 67(2) 195-200.
Tyrrell, M.C. 1999. Predicted impacts of the introduced crab, Hemigrapsus sanguineus, in New Hampshire. In Abstracts: First National Conference on Marine Bioinvasions, January 24 -27, 1999. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
Summary: Attempt to model the invasion of H. sanguineus in New Hampshire.
Available from http://massbay.mit.edu/resources/pdf/MarinePDF/1999/MarineAbs11.pdf [Accessed Sept 20 2004]
Whitlatch, R.B. and Osman, R.W. 1999. Geographical distributions and organism-habitat associations of shallow-water introduced marine fauna in New England. In Abstracts: First National Conference on Marine Bioinvasions, January 24 -27, 1999. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
Summary: Report into the distribution of some invasive benthic species in New England, USA
Available from: http://massbay.mit.edu/publications/marinebioinvasions/mbi1_abstracts.pdf [Accessed 8 February 2008]
World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS), 2011. Hemigrapsus sanguineus (De Haan, 1835)
Summary: Available from: http://www.marinespecies.org/aphia.php?p=taxdetails&id=158417 [Accessed 11 February 2011]
Contact
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