Animalia > Arthropoda > Malacostraca > Decapoda > Portunoidea > Portunidae > Carcinus > Carcinus maenas

Carcinus maenas (green crab)

Synonyms: Cancer granarius; Cancer granulatus; Cancer maenas; Cancer pygmeus; Cancer rhomboidalis; Cancer viridis; Megalopa montagui

Wikipedia Abstract

"Shore crab" redirects here. This may also be used for crabs in the superfamily Grapsoidea.Carcinus maenas is a common littoral crab, and an important invasive species, listed among the 100 "world's worst alien invasive species". It is native to the north-east Atlantic Ocean and Baltic Sea, but has colonised similar habitats in Australia, South Africa, South America and both Atlantic and Pacific coasts of North America.
View Wikipedia Record: Carcinus maenas

Invasive Species

Carcinus maenas is native to Europe and northern Africa and has been introduced to the North America, Australia, parts of South America and South Africa. It is a voracious food generalist and in some locations of its introduced range it has caused the decline of other crab and bivalve species. Its success with invasion has also caused numerous other problems that require management.
View ISSG Record: Carcinus maenas


Water Biome [1]  Coastal

Protected Areas

Name IUCN Category Area acres Location Species Website Climate Land Use
Alde, Ore and Butley Estuaries 3859 England, United Kingdom
Bae Cemlyn/ Cemlyn Bay 107 Wales, United Kingdom  
Beast Cliff – Whitby (Robin Hood`s Bay) 643 England, United Kingdom  
Berwickshire and North Northumberland Coast 160731 England/Scotland, United Kingdom  
Braunton Burrows 3328 England, United Kingdom
Cardigan Bay/ Bae Ceredigion 236876 Wales, United Kingdom
Carmarthen Bay and Estuaries/ Bae Caerfyrddin ac Aberoedd 163340 Wales, United Kingdom
Clogwyni Pen Llyn/ Seacliffs of Lleyn 2591 Wales, United Kingdom
Dee Estuary/ Aber Dyfrdwy 39057 England/Wales, United Kingdom
Drigg Coast 3453 England, United Kingdom
Essex Estuaries 114016 England, United Kingdom
Exmoor and Quantock Oakwoods 4683 England, United Kingdom
Fal and Helford 15785 England, United Kingdom    
Fehmarnbelt 69170 Germany  
Flamborough Head 15597 England, United Kingdom  
Glannau Môn: Cors heli / Anglesey Coast: Saltmarsh 2614 Wales, United Kingdom  
Glannau Ynys Gybi/ Holy Island Coast 1147 Wales, United Kingdom  
Isles of Scilly Complex 66350 England, United Kingdom    
Loch Creran 3030 Scotland, United Kingdom  
Loch Laxford 3018 Scotland, United Kingdom
Loch Moidart and Loch Shiel Woods 4341 Scotland, United Kingdom
Loch nam Madadh 5734 Scotland, United Kingdom
Loch Roag Lagoons 108 Scotland, United Kingdom  
Lochs Duich, Long and Alsh Reefs 5883 Scotland, United Kingdom  
Luce Bay and Sands 120487 Scotland, United Kingdom
Lyme Bay and Torbay 77215 England, United Kingdom
Mòine Mhór 2843 Scotland, United Kingdom
Morecambe Bay 151985 England, United Kingdom
North Norfolk Coast 7926 England, United Kingdom  
Orfordness – Shingle Street 2227 England, United Kingdom
Pembrokeshire Marine/ Sir Benfro Forol 341177 Wales, United Kingdom  
Pen Llyn a`r Sarnau/ Lleyn Peninsula and the Sarnau 360832 Wales, United Kingdom
Plymouth Sound and Estuaries 15820 England, United Kingdom
Sanday 27112 Scotland, United Kingdom    
Sefton Coast 11278 England, United Kingdom
Severn Estuary/ Môr Hafren 182155 England/Wales, United Kingdom
Sidmouth to West Bay 2217 England, United Kingdom
Solent Maritime 27985 England, United Kingdom
Solway Firth 107829 England/Scotland, United Kingdom
Sound of Arisaig (Loch Ailort to Loch Ceann Traigh) 11260 Scotland, United Kingdom
South Devon Shore Dock 843 England, United Kingdom  
Start Point to Plymouth Sound & Eddystone 84204 England, United Kingdom  
Sullom Voe 6668 Scotland, United Kingdom
Sunart 25320 Scotland, United Kingdom
Taynish and Knapdale Woods 2388 Scotland, United Kingdom
Tayvallich Juniper and Coast 2999 Scotland, United Kingdom
Thanet Coast 6928 England, United Kingdom
The Vadills 154 Scotland, United Kingdom
The Wash and North Norfolk Coast 266284 England, United Kingdom
Treshnish Isles 4850 Scotland, United Kingdom
Tweed Estuary 385 England, United Kingdom  
Y Fenai a Bae Conwy/ Menai Strait and Conwy Bay 65440 Wales, United Kingdom  


Prey / Diet

Crangon crangon (common shrimp)[2]
Heteromastus filiformis (draadworm)[2]
Lanice conchilega (schelpkokerworm)[2]
Mya arenaria (Clam)[3]
Mytilus edulis (Blue mussel)[3]
Peringia ulvae (Laver spire shell)[2]
Zostera noltii[2]

Prey / Diet Overlap

Competing SpeciesCommon Prey Count
Anas acuta (Northern Pintail)1
Anas penelope (Eurasian Wigeon)1
Anas platyrhynchos (Mallard)1
Branta bernicla (Brent Goose)1
Calidris alpina (Dunlin)3
Calidris canutus (Red Knot)1
Calidris maritima (Purple Sandpiper)1
Caretta caretta (Loggerhead)1
Clangula hyemalis (Oldsquaw)1
Crangon crangon (common shrimp)2
Crossaster papposus (spiny sun star, common sun star)1
Ctenolabrus rupestris (Rock cook)2
Cymatogaster aggregata (Shiner)1
Delphinus delphis (Short-beaked Saddleback Dolphin)1
Gadus morhua (rock cod)1
Haematopus ostralegus (Eurasian Oystercatcher)1
Hediste diversicolor (veelkleurige zeeduizendpoot)1
Larus argentatus (Herring Gull)1
Lepidochelys kempii (Atlantic Ridley, Kemp’s Ridley Seaturtle)1
Limosa lapponica (Bar-tailed Godwit)1
Melanitta perspicillata (Surf Scoter)1
Merlangius merlangus (Whiting)1
Mullus surmuletus (Red mullet)1
Myoxocephalus scorpius (Short-spined sea scorpion)1
Numenius arquata (Eurasian Curlew)1
Octopus vulgaris (common octopus)1
Platalea leucorodia (Eurasian Spoonbill)1
Platichthys flesus (North Atlantic flounder)2
Pleuronectes platessa (European plaice)1
Pluvialis apricaria (European Golden-Plover)1
Pomatoschistus microps (Common goby)3
Pomatoschistus minutus (freckled goby)3
Raja montagui (Homelyn ray)1
Recurvirostra avosetta (Pied Avocet)1
Scorpaena porcus (Black scorpion fish)1
Somateria mollissima (Common Eider)3
Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis (Green sea urchin)1
Tadorna tadorna (Common Shelduck)1


Anguilla anguilla (River eel)[4]
Ciliata mustela (Rockling)[5]
Crangon crangon (common shrimp)[6]
Gadus morhua (rock cod)[2]
Gobius niger (Black goby)[7]
Merlangius merlangus (Whiting)[2]
Myoxocephalus scorpius (Short-spined sea scorpion)[2]
Octopus joubini (Atlantic pygmy octopus)[8]
Platichthys flesus (North Atlantic flounder)[2]
Pomatoschistus microps (Common goby)[2]
Sepia officinalis (common or european cuttlefish)[9]
Somateria mollissima (Common Eider)[2]


Parasitized by 
Megalophallus carcini[10]
Microphallus bittii[10]
Microphallus primas[10]
Microphallus similis[10]
Proleptus obtusus <Unverified Name>[10]
Spelotrema brevicaeca <Unverified Name>[10]
Trimacracanthus aetobatidis[10]

Institutions (Zoos, etc.)

Institution Infraspecies / Breed 
Artis Zoo
Rotterdam Zoo
Universeum Science Center
Zoo am Meer Bremerhaven GmbH
Zoological Society of London


East Pacific; Eastern Atlantic Ocean; Indo-West Pacific; Western Atlantic Ocean;



Attributes / relations provided by 1Myers, P., R. Espinosa, C. S. Parr, T. Jones, G. S. Hammond, and T. A. Dewey. 2006. The Animal Diversity Web (online). Accessed February 01, 2010 at 2Energy flow of a boreal intertidal ecosystem, the Sylt-Rømø Bight, Dan Baird, Harald Asmus, Ragnhild Asmus, Mar Ecol Prog Ser 279: 45–61, 2004 3Elner, R. W. (1981). Diet of green crab Carcinus maenas (L.) from Port Hebert, southwestern Nova Scotia., 1(1), 89-94. 4Costa, J. L., Assis, C. A., Almeida, P. R., Moreira, F. M. and Costa, M. J. (1992), On the food of the European eel, Anguilla anguilla (L.), in the upper zone of the Tagus estuary, Portugal. Journal of Fish Biology, 41: 841–850 5Pinnegar, J.K. and Platts, M. (2011). DAPSTOM - An Integrated Database & Portal for Fish Stomach Records. Version 3.6. Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science, Lowestoft, UK. Phase 3, Final Report, July 2011, 35pp. 6Trophodynamics in a Shallow Lagoon off Northwestern Europe (Culbin Sands, Moray Firth): Spatial and Temporal Variability of Epibenthic Communities, Their Diets, and Consumption Efficiency, Vanda Mariyam Mendonça, David George Raffaelli, Peter R. Boyle, and Chas Emes, Zoological Studies 48(2): 196-214 (2009) 7Dietary composition and the potential of food competition between 0-group cod (Gadus morhua L.) and some other fish species in the littoral zone, Karen Fjøsne and Jakob Gjøsæter, ICES Journal of Marine Science, 53: 757–770. 1996 8CephBase - Cephalopod (Octopus, Squid, Cuttlefish and Nautilus) Database 9Feeding habits of the cuttlefish Sepia officinalis during its life cycle in the Sado estuary (Portugal), Ana Neves, Vera Sequeira, Ana Rita Vieira, Rafaela Paiva, Leonel Serrano Gordo, Hydrobiologia (2009) 636:479–488 10Gibson, D. I., Bray, R. A., & Harris, E. A. (Compilers) (2005). Host-Parasite Database of the Natural History Museum, London
Protected Areas provided by GBIF Global Biodiversity Information Facility Natura 2000, UK data: © Crown copyright and database right [2010] All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100017955
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Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License
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