Asian shore crab

Scientific name

Hemigrapsus sanguineus

Image of Asian shore crab. The scientific name, Hemigrapsus sanguineus.

Key features

Key features of Asian shore crab include:

  • banded pattern on walking legs
  • three spines on each side of eyes
  • spots on claws
  • square-shaped, green-purple to orange-brown shell
  • shell up to 4cm wide.


The Asian shore crab:

  • found on hard surfaces like under rocks, shells, debris or artificial structures (marinas, moorings, etc.)
  • found in exposed rocky coasts, estuaries, tidal flats and shallow waters.


The Asian shore crab:

  • out-competes native species
  • preys on crabs and shellfish, particularly mussels and oysters.

Known established populations

The Asian shore crab is currently present in Port Phillip Bay.

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: 06 Jul 2023