The Chinese mitten crab, Eriocheir sinensis, is a contentious invasive species. It is well established in many northeast European water catchments. Recent studies suggest the species is now in the UK in large numbers and its presence could pose a real threat to riverine environments.
This alien species undermines the native ecological structure and disrupts fishing operations by:
By studying the biology and behaviour of E. sinensis, we hope to enable informed decisions about the possible control of this species and its eradication from areas outside its native habitat of China.
Learn about the taxonomy and systematics of mitten crabs, and how to identify them. Get information about their lifestyles, distribution and how they are introduced to new regions.
Mitten crabs are a popular food delicacy in southeast Asia. Find out about research carried out by Museum scientists to assess whether commercial exploitation could be used to control invasive populations, including whether Thames mitten crabs are fit for human consumption.
This major project aims to target and invasive species while helping the conservation of another.
Meet the team of people at the Museum involved in mitten crab research projects.