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Eriocheir sinensis   Milne-Edwards, 1853

Chinese mitten crab

Native range | All suitable habitat | Point map | Year 2100
This map was computer-generated and has not yet been reviewed.
Eriocheir sinensis   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Eriocheir sinensis
Picture by FAO

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | CoL | ITIS | WoRMS

Malacostraca | Decapoda | Varunidae

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Benthic; freshwater; brackish; depth range 0 - 25 m (Ref. 81172).  Temperate; 5°C - 27°C (Ref. 8003); 44°N - 21°N, 112°E - 135°E

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Introductions

Northwest Pacific: Native from Valdivostok Russia, to the west coast of North Korea south to Hong Kong, China. Introduced to central and western Europe.

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm Max length : 7.5 cm CW male/unsexed; (Ref. 3159)

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Catadromous (Ref. 101972). Maximum depth from Ref. 104445. Euryhaline (Ref. 115548). Catadromous (Ref. 115520, 115522), spending most of its life growing to maturity in freshwater (Ref. 115522). Found in coastal rivers and estuaries. It needs brackish or saltwater to reproduce (Ref. 8778). Downstream migration of adults occurs worldwide (Ref. 115548). From sublittoral sediment and surface running water (Ref. 104191). Adults are found in fresh, brackish and salt waters; oviparous females are typically in greatest number in saltwater (Ref. 115548). Has high affinity to burrow. Juveniles are known to form burrows in soft-sediment banks between high and low tide lines upon migration into brackish channels and creeks. In general, small juveniles construct and inhabit these burrows (Ref. 104191). Larger crabs occasionally burrow in softer substrate of freshwater stream banks. When abundance increases, burrows can become very dense, causing bank weakening, erosion, loss of bank vegetation, and bank collapse (Ref. 115547). In Germany, burrows reached 50 cm deep, which caused considerable damage (Ref. 115521). Predominantly omnivorous; however, it exhibits plasticity in its diet (i.e., feeding habits may shift throughout the cycle). Likely to scavenge and feed on detritus (Ref. 104191). Larvae feed on phytoplankton; newly settled juveniles feed on aquatic plants (Ref. 115548). Shifts to a more carnivorous diet as it ages, eating shrimp and other benthic invertebrates. Also reported to feed on fish captured in fishing nets (Ref. 104191). Opportunistic feeder (Ref. 115548). Feeds on periphytic algae, terrestrial plants, detritus, sand, copepods and chironomid larvae (Ref. 107018). Carries a lung fluke trematode parasite Paragonimus westermani that infects humans (Ref. 115522). Life cycle: Eggs are carried until hatched and the adults die afterwards. The larvae undergo five zoeal stages. Juveniles migrate from the estuary to the freshwater to develop into adults. Adults migrate downstream, mating occurs in saline water (Ref. 8003). Peak in December to February (Ref. 8003).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Life cycle: Eggs are carried until hatched and the adults die afterwards. The larvae undergo five zoeal stages. Juveniles migrate from the estuary to the freshwater to develop into adults. Adults migrate downstream, mating occurs in saline water.

Main reference References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Ray, G.L. 2005. (Ref. 3159)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 115185)

CITES status (Ref. 108899)

Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

Human uses

Fisheries: commercial
FAO(Aquaculture: production, fisheries: production) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

Internet sources

BHL | BOLD Systems | CISTI | DiscoverLife | FAO(Aquaculture: species profile; fisheries: species profile; publication : search) | GenBank (genome, nucleotide) | GloBI | GOBASE | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | ispecies | PubMed | Scirus | Tree of Life | uBio | uBio RSS | Wikipedia (Go, Search) | Zoological Record

Estimates of some properties based on models

Vulnerability (Ref. 71543)
Low vulnerability (10 of 100)
Price category (Ref. 80766)
Unknown