Mapping the distribution of Marine Alien and Invasive invertebrate species in South Africa

Mapping the distribution of Marine Alien and Invasive invertebrate species in South Africa

Mapping the distribution of Marine Alien and Invasive invertebrate species in South Africa - Southern Africa : The aim of this project is to map the overall distribution and occurrence of marine alien and invasive invertebrate species in South African waters. This is to determine the extent to which they have spread in order to understand their ecology. We also wa

The aim of this project is to map the overall distribution and occurrence of marine alien and invasive invertebrate species in South African waters. This is to determine the extent to which they have spread in order to understand their ecology. We also want to create a marine alien and invasive invertebrate species atlas and an updated species list. Below is brief information on Carcinus maenas, the European shore crab.

Scientific name: Carcinus maenas Linneaus 1758
Common name: European shore crab

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Malacostraca
Order: Decapoda
Family: Portunidae

DescritpionCarcinus maenas shows a dark greenish to brownish green to bluish colour. The length of the adult reaches up to about 6cm and the width reaching up to about 9cm. A row of lighter coloured spots following cervical groove on each side, yellowish white to darker colour ventrally. A carapace with 5 antelolateral teeth about equal in size, width 1.3 times length. The abdomen of male triangular, third to fifth somites fused; in females somites are not fused, subtriangular but rounded laterally (Squires, 1990).

OriginIts native range is from Mauritania in northwestern Africa through Atlantic Europe to northern Norway and Iceland (Behrens Yamada & Gillespie, 2008).

ImpactsCarcinus maenas, a well-documented invasive species, competes with native crab species and preys on clams, mussels and other species in natural settings and in aquaculture (Yamada & Gillespie, 2008).

20 May 2015
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