A relatively large swimming crab with paddle-like hind legs. The shell can reach 12 cm across. Adults have six distinct spines or spikes on each side of the shell below the eyes, and five prominent spines on the upper surface of each claw. The crab ranges in colour from pale-green or olive green to a deep chestnut brown with purplish markings on the shell.
To help protect our environment:
It is typically found in estuaries where there is firm sand, muddy fine sand, or muddy-shelly fine sand.
The crab is very aggressive, displacing native crabs (pāpaka) and preying on a variety of native and aquaculture species including shellfish, fish, other crustaceans and polychaete worms. It is also a carrier of diseases that may greatly impact other crustaceans.
Before moving your boat or other craft to new locations, make sure the hull, anchor chain and all other equipment on board is clean and free of marine pests or other fouling. Think about where you’re taking on or releasing ballast, bilge or holding tank water, or water in any other container such as chilly bins, to avoid spreading marine pests.