The European Green Crab can measure from 2.5 to 4 inches in length. The European green crab is also known as the European shore crab. The mating process of the green crab begins with the seeking out of a recently molted female crab by a male green crab. In North America and South Africa, it bears the name green crab or European green crab. Young crabs live in ‘Posidonia oceanica’ meadows (the botanical name of a genus of flowering plants) until they reach adulthood. If the eggs … Reproduction. Green crabs eat a wide variety of prey organisms and can significantly reduce populations of native clams and crabs in areas where they have become established. During this time, males guard females by pairing with them in "pre-molt cradling" to defend them from predators and other males. In Australia and New Zealand, it is referred to as either the European green crab or European shore crab. The female lays eggs which she carries in a pouch underneath her abdomen where the male crab fertilizes them. In the British Isles, it is generally referred to as the shore crab, or green shore crab. Reproduction and life cycle. Carcinus maenas is a common littoral crab. Reproduction and Life Cycle . The illustration below shows the key events in the green crab lifecycle. Green Crab Reproduction. Email Us. The female then carries the eggs over the following winter. It is known by different names around the world. The timing of these events varies in different parts of the world because of differences in water temperature. Females of the species can produce up to 185,000 eggs at a time. Although the crab’s common name would lead one to believe they are always green in color, in fact, their coloration varies. Additionally, since t… In the North Sea and Maine, mating primarily occurs from June (North Sea) or July (Maine) until October. When winters are cold, this is a critical point in the crab lifecycle because egg mortality is high. Male green crabs molt more often and grow larger than females; they typically mate with females smaller than themselves. Green crabs are estimated to live up to five years. Females molt once a year and are very vulnerable until a new shell hardens. Board of Fisheries and Game: Actions & Activities, Alaska Resources Library and Information Services (ARLIS), About the Division of Commercial Fisheries, Western Alaska Salmon Stock Identification Program (WASSIP), Online General Season & Registration Permits, Subsistence and Personal Use Fishing Permits, CSIS – Community Subsistence Information System, The Technical Papers and Special Publications Series, Identification Guide: Selected Crabs of Oregon, Washington, Alaska and British Columbia. The European green crab is not known to occur in Alaska, yet it is an invasive species in the Pacific Northwest, as far north as British Columbia. It is a small, aggressive marine shore crab found in rocky intertidal and estuarine areas. Female Green crabs can produce up to 185,000 eggs and larvae develop offshore in several stages before their final molt to juvenile crabs. In Maine, mating takes place between July and October, peaking in late summer.
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