Lifestages and corresponding impacts of the Chinese mitten crab

lifestages: larval stage juvenile
(most physical damage and disruption to the ecosystem, usually in tidal freshwater regions)
impacts: unknown crabs can
  • burrow holes in banks and levees contributing significantly to erosion rates and bank instability
  • eat the shoots of plants threatening crops in agriculture
    (additionally, diked fields may be endangered by the collapse of levees triggered by the crab’s burrows)
  • clog the intake pipes of power plants and irrigation systems by sheer numbers
  • damage catch by direct consumption and the nets or traps (when the crabs cut the threads with their claws) impacting commercial fisheries
  • steal bait impacting recreational fishing
  • facilitate a parasite, the Oriental lung fluke (Peragonimus westermannii) with the possible transfer to humans/other mammals
  • presumably have an ecological effect, no impacts are yet reported
crabs can impact
  • fishing, commercial and recreational
  • humans and mammals by facilitating the Orintal lung fluke

all information from Veldhuizen and Hieb 1998, Hieb 1997, Halat and Resh 1996, Cohen and Carlton 1995, Panning 1938

created 20 May 1998