Chinese mitten crab

Scientific name

Eriocheir sinensis

Image of Chinese mitten crab. The scientific name, Eriocheir sinensis.

Key features

Key features of Chinese mitten crab include:

  • hairy ‘mittens’ on claws
  • four spines either side of the eyes
  • four sharp spines between the eyes
  • smooth shell up to 8cm wide
  • freshwater for first 4-5yrs.


The Chinese mitten crab:

  • mud on riverbanks
  • estuaries and coastal areas.


The Chinese mitten crab:

  • burrowing causes erosion on riverbanks and shorelines
  • damages aquaculture
  • host of dangerous liver fluke which harms humans
  • host of several crustacean diseases including crayfish plague.

Known established populations

The Chinese mitten 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: 06 Jul 2023