European green crab, Carcinus maenas
European green crab
Alien invasive species :
It is very important to learn to recognize alien invasive species and to signal them when you see them. These species can cause serious problems in ecosystems in which they are introduced. In some cases, early detection of these species can help prevent an infestation. Every precaution should be taken to avoid spreading these species!
Alien invasive species list
- Shell slightly wider than long (up to 85 mm in length and 65 mm wide) in a trapezoid shape
- Dorsal (top shell) dark green to brown, mottled with yellow
- Ventral (underside shell) variable in color, yellowish-green to red-orange
- Claws are different in sizes
Distinguishing Characteristics :
- Rows of 5 points, just like teeth at the margin of the carapace on either side of the eyes and three smaller peaks between the two eyes
- Four pairs of walking legs tipped slightly flattened and pointed
- Smaller and more aggressive than the native rock crab
Lookalike species European green crab :
- Varied, especially in shallow water, intertidal zone up to ten meters, particularly in bays and estuaries
- Especially in rocky environments (eastern North America) but also on rocks, sand, mud, algae or in marshes.
- Tolerate large variations in salinity (4-54) and temperatures (0-33 ° C)
- Sometimes even observed in some rivers well upstream from their mouths
Originally from the coastal waters of northern Europe
It is present today in the Gulf of St. Lawrence to Delaware and appeared on the east coast of the United States in the early 19th century. It has gradually dispersed from Maryland to northeastern Maine, and reached the south-western New Brunswick in the 1950s. It would have been reported for the first time in Nova Scotia in 1961. It has since then been reported in the southern Gulf in the early 1990s, observed in the Bay St. George (NS) in 1995 in PEI Prince Edward Islands in 1997 and in Magdalen Islands in 2004. It has also invaded the West Coast and has been observed in British Columbia, on Vancouver Island in 1998 and 1999.
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