(Courtesy of Jerry Prezioso)
Japanese Shore Crab, Asian Shore Crab|
These small crabs only grow to about 1 1/2"(3.5 cm) wide across their shell (carapace), or about the size of a silver dollar. They are easily identified by the brown bands on their legs, the three spines on either side of the shell (carapace), and a small hard bulge of tissue in between the pincers on the claws. They are omnivorous, consuming both living and dead intertidal invertebrates and algae, including snails, mussels, polychaetes, hydroids, and other crustaceans, including barnacles. They were first discovered in New Jersey in 1988, and have been moving north and south. They are now the most common intertidal crab in southern New England.