Navigation Links
Smithsonian identifies invasive crab species in Panama Canal expansion area

A Smithsonian scientist and colleague report that a potentially harmful, invasive crab species that has spread to several countries is now established and reproducing in Panama. The researchers report that Harris mud crabs are reproducing in the small, man-made lake designated to become the third set of locks in Panamas new $5 billion canal expansion project.

Mark Torchin, a staff scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, and Dominique Roche, a McGill University pre-doctoral student, report their research in the September issue of Aquatic Invasions.

The Harris mud crab, Rhithropanopeus harrisii, native to estuarine environments along the East coast of North America, has spread to at least 21 countries, causing varying degrees of both environmental and economic damage. This mud crab has the potential to disrupt local ecosystems, invade inland freshwater lakes and harbor crustacean diseases. It also fouls pipes and preys upon fish in gill nets.

Torchin and Roche first discovered R. harrisii on the shoreline of the Miraflores Third Lock Lake in February. In March, they collected males, egg-bearing females and juveniles. While individual Harris mud crabs were reported from Panama in 1969, this is the first report of an established and reproducing population in the country.

The Miraflores Third Lock Lake was created in the early 1940s, during an aborted project to further expand the canal. The new canal expansion project, formally inaugurated Sept. 3, will reconnect this lake to the waterway.

Additional surveys will determine whether the crab is ubiquitous in the canal waters and if it is established at other sites. Genetic analysis will reveal the origin of this population and will determine if all populations in the canal are related or whether they result from independent introductions. The Panama Canal Authority supports STRIs survey efforts.

This study is part of a major ongoing project by Torchin and the Smithsonian Marine Science Network to document the movement of invasive species as a result of the significant expansion of world marine trade.


Contact: Beth King
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Related biology news :

1. Smithsonian scientists discover new marine species in eastern Pacific
2. Study identifies predictors of HIV drug resistance in patients beginning triple therapy
3. New lab technique identifies high levels of pathogens in therapy pool
4. Study identifies gene in mice that may control risk-taking behavior in humans
5. Researcher at UGA College of Veterinary Medicine identifies new way of combating viral diseases
6. U. of Colorado researcher identifies tracks of swimming dinosaur in Wyoming
7. Model identifies genes that induce normal skin cells to become abnormal
8. New study identifies key gene in development of connections between brain and spinal cord
9. New HIV study identifies high-risk subgroups of adolescents
10. Research identifies protein in mice that regulates bone formation
11. Study identifies new role for breast cancer susceptibility gene
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/1/2015)... 2015  Biometrics includes diverse set of technologies ... such as fingerprints, eye retinas, facial patterns, voice ... technology has been constantly increasing in ... In addition to the most prominent popular method ... means of biometric authentication are rapidly gaining traction ...
(Date:9/29/2015)... News facts: ... energy , Minimized design shrinks PC footprint ... and embedded Fujitsu PalmSecure authentication enable enterprises to realize ... shows that good things come in small packages, with ... enterprise desktop and mobile portfolio. Featuring workplace design that ...
(Date:9/28/2015)... 28, 2015 The global ... USD 12.03 billion by 2020, growing at a CAGR ... as Backside Illumination (BSI) technique to improve picture quality ... period.      (Logo: , ... to reduce loss and, thus, reduce the noise interference ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2015)... ... October 12, 2015 , ... LifeTrak , a leader ... LifeTrak Zoom, the world’s first amphibious fitness tracker that seeks to meet the needs ... and accurate heart rate monitoring both in water and on land, making ...
(Date:10/9/2015)... Oct. 9, 2015 On October 8, the ... Record her statement recognizing the third annual International Plasma ... is sponsored by the Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association ... to:   , Raise global awareness about plasma ... in saving and improving lives , Increase understanding ...
(Date:10/9/2015)... LEXINGTON, Mass. , Oct. 9, 2015  Pulmatrix, Inc., ... presentation at two upcoming investor conferences. th ... at 11:00 am PDT (2:00 pm EDT). --> ... 20, 2015 at 11:00 am PDT (2:00 pm EDT). ... James 2015 Small Cap Growth Stock Conference on Thursday, October ...
(Date:10/8/2015)... Fla. , Oct. 8, 2015   Intrexon ... synthetic biology, today announced the appointment of Joseph ... Environment Sector, succeeding Nir Nimrodi who continues ... Vaillancourt will direct Intrexon,s endeavors to generate sustainable, biologically ... America , where he held a variety of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: