Eriocheir sinensis was first described in 1853 by the French naturalist Henri Milne Edwards in Annales des Sciences Naturelles, série 3, volume 20. 

A more detailed description appeared a year later in volume 7 of the Archives du Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle. This is often, incorrectly, cited as the authority for E. sinensis and it appears that H. Milne Edwards himself may have intended this description to appear first, as he cites figure 1 from it in the earlier publication.

However, according to the rules laid out in the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, 1999, the correct authority of the species is Eriocheir sinensis H. Milne Edwards, 1853.

Related species

3 other species have also been assigned to the genus Eriocheir:

  • Eriocheir hepuensis Dai, 1991
  • Eriocheir japonica (de Haan, 1835) 
  • Eriocheir ogasawaraensis Komai, 2006

Mitten crab relatives

Diagnostic characters of Eriocheir sinensis

  • Setal mats on the chelae
  • Quadrate (squarish) carapace
  • Frontal margin with deep central cleft and 4 spines
  • 4 teeth on the carapace anterolateral margin

Identification of mitten crabs