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Hemigrapsus sanguineus, commonly known as the Asian shore crab, was first discovered on the east coast of the United States in New Jersey in 1988. The spread of this invasive crab has been rapid, and it is now abundant along a large portion of the mid-Atlantic and southern New England coast. Further, an invasion of H. sanguineus into New Hampshire and southern Maine is in its preliminary stages. The introduction of this crab to North America could potentially affect a variety of native species. Numerous studies have examined the predation of H. sanguineus on blue mussels, snails, and other bivalves. In this study, we consider the predation of H. sanguineus on juvenile Homarus americanus(American lobster). We conducted laboratory experiments to investigate whether H. sanguineus can and will consume juvenile H. americanus. These trials affirmed that invasive crabs do prey on lobsters even when the crabs were provided other food alternatives and the lobsters were given shelter. Further research is necessary to evaluate if there exists a real or potential threat to the juvenile H. americanus population in the wild.
Maine Agricultural and Forest Experiment Station
Asian shore crab, American lobster
Aquaculture and Fisheries | Marine Biology
Demeo, A., and J.G. Riley. 2006. Hemigrapsus sanguineus (Asian shore crab) as predator of juvenile Homarus americanus (American lobster. Maine Agricultural and Forest Experiment Station Technical Bulletin 194.