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East Asian shore crab


carapace maximum 4 centimeters wide


red spots on claws and legs; carapace varies in color from green-brown to reddish


up to 8 years


omnivore, particularly seaweed


gulls, other bird species, some fish



  • Dut: Blaasjeskrab
  • Lat: Hemigrapsus sanguineus
  • Eng: East Asian shore crab
  • Ger: see Latin
East asian shore crab, foto fitis, sytske dijksen

East Asian shore crab

The East Asian shore crab originated in the western part of the Pacific Ocean, near Japan, China and Korea. It has since made a world journey: In 1988, it was first found along the eastern coast of the USA (New Jersey). In the meantime, it has spread there over more than 900 kilometers of coast. In 1999, eleven years later, it surfaced for the first time in Europe, on the French coast by Le Havre. Large numbers were reported in 2004 on the dike on Texel. The crab has sturdy claws and legs. Males have a blister in their claw, making them easy to identify. This also explains the Dutch name 'blister crab'. Although they are smaller than the shore crab, they are very quick and have a mean pinch.

  • Distribution and habitat
    East asian shore crab, foto fitis, sytske dijksen

    The east Asian shore crab prefers hard substrate between the high and low tide waterline, among stones and at the foot of dikes. In the winter, if it gets really cold, it will move to deeper waters. This crab can be found on oyster and mussel banks. Biologist Rob Dekker from the NIOZ expects the population of this crab to rise explosively in the Wadden Sea in the coming years. It is likely to displace the shore crab on the dikes.