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Exotic crab poised for widespread UK invasion

rical fish counters, could also be adapted to include monitoring of mitten crabs."

Mitten crab facts:

  • The crab is a delicacy in Chinese and Japanese restaurants and is eaten raw, preferably with its reproductive organs swollen!
  • If you see a crab in freshwater it is almost certain to be a mitten crab (only one other small non-native crab has been reported from Cardiff Docks)
  • Politician Peter Mandelson was once jokingly likened to a mitten crab by Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott during a photocall on the Thames.
  • the mature crab is the size of a dinner plate when its legs are extended (the body is around 8cm wide and the legs about 12cm long)
  • The scientific name is Eriocheir sinensis (from the Greek meaning wool hand of the Chinese) and the crab originated in the Province of Fukien, China.
  • The first UK recorded sighting was at Lots Power Station, Chelsea in 1935. However, it is likely any crabs around then died out and were not reintroduced into this country until the 1970s.


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Source:University of Newcastle upon Tyne


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