Harris’ mud crab

Scientific name

Rhithropanopeus harrisii

Image of Harris’ mud crab. The scientific name, Rhithropanopeus harrisii. This image was taken by M. Frey CC by nc-sa.

Key features

Key features of Harris’ mud crab include:

  • greenish brown to olive green
  • white-tipped, uneven sized claws
  • hairy abdomen
  • four blunt spines either side of body
  • shell about 1-2cm wide.


The Harris’ mud crab:

  • found in shallow brackish, fresh or marine waters
  • found in sandy and muddy environments, under rocks and stones, in vegetation and oyster beds and in water intake pipes.


The Harris’ mud crab:

  • competes with native species
  • host of several crustacean diseases
  • fouls water intake pipes
  • damages commercial catch in fishing nets.

Known established populations

The Harris’ mud 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