Asian paddle crab

Scientific name

Charybdis japonica

Image of Asian paddle crab. The scientific name, Charybdis japonica. This image was taken by A. Chalupa

Key features

Key features of Asian paddle crab include:

  • red, purple, orange to pale green and off-white shell
  • five distinct spines on upper surface of foreclaw
  • six spines on each side of eyes
  • last set of legs have swimming paddles
  • shell up to 12cm wide.


The Asian paddle crab:

  • shallow waters to 15m deep
  • mobile, found on, or buried in, sand or mud
  • found in estuaries, coastal lagoons and bays.


The Asian paddle crab:

  • aggressive, out-competes native species
  • can carry white spot syndrome virus.

Known established populations

The Asian paddle crab is currently not present in Victoria.

Report a marine pest sighting

Report any unusual marine species immediately using our online reporting system. Early reporting increases the chance of effective control and eradication. Please take good quality photos of the pests or damage to include in your report where possible.

Alternatively, you can call the Agriculture Victoria Customer Service Centre 136 186.

Report a sighting

Page last updated: 19 Jul 2024