Rhithropanopeus harrisii

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Rhithropanopeus harrisii
Краб на Белосарайской косе 1.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Crustacea
Class: Malacostraca
Order: Decapoda
Infraorder: Brachyura
Family: Panopeidae
Genus: Rhithropanopeus
Rathbun, 1898
Species: R. harrisii
Binomial name
Rhithropanopeus harrisii
(Gould, 1841) [1]
Synonyms [1]

Pilumnus harrisii Gould, 1841
Pilumnus tridentatus Maitland, 1874
Heteropanope tridentatus Tesch, 1922
Panopeus wurdemannii Gibbes, 1850

Rhithropanopeus harrisii (common names include the Zuiderzee crab,[2] dwarf crab,[2] estuarine mud crab,[3] Harris mud crab,[3] and white-tipped mud crab), is a small omnivorous crab native to Atlantic coasts of the Americas, from New Brunswick to Veracruz.[2]

R. harrisii is usually found in brackish water, but can also be found in freshwater. It likes to live on stones and in oyster beds. The crab can reach a maximum size of 20 millimetres (0.8 in). It has an olive-green-brownish color, sometimes with dark spots on its carapace.

It is a common inhabitant of Texas and Florida estuaries, but was later introduced all over the world.[3] In 1937, it was discovered to be invading the San Francisco Bay's brackish waters and adjacent fresh waters of the California Central Valley.[3] It was also recently discovered in the Third Lock Lake in Panama, a man-made lake intended to be a part of the Panama Canal.[4]

R. harrisii was first discovered in Europe in the Zuider Zee, the Netherlands, and is now also found in Denmark, Belgium, Germany, France, Poland, Estonia, Finland, Russia, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Romania and Bulgaria, from the Black Sea and Caspian Sea.[2][5][6]

In the British Isles, R. harrisii has only been observed in Roath Docks, Cardiff, which have lower salinity (12) than the surrounding waters.

Breeding freshwater populations have been found in the Brazos River basin in Texas, notably the Possum Kingdom State Park and Lake Granbury. Populations have also been discovered in Lake Texoma.[7]

A record of this species is done in Brazil, but might represent a misidentification.[8]


  1. ^ a b P. K. L. Ng, D. Guinot & P. J. F. Davie (2008). "Systema Brachyurorum: Part I. An annotated checklist of extant Brachyuran crabs of the world" (PDF). Raffles Bulletin of Zoology. 17: 1–286. 
  2. ^ a b c d C. Mettam & P. F. Clark. "Rhithropanopeus harrisii". Joint Nature Conservation Committee. Retrieved December 10, 2009. 
  3. ^ a b c d Harriet Perry (April 24, 2006). "Rhithropanopeus harrisii (Gould, 1841)". 
  4. ^ Dominique G. Roche & Mark E. Torchin (2007). "Established population of the North American Harris mud crab, Rhithropanopeus harrisii (Gould 1841) (Crustacea: Brachyura: Xanthidae) in the Panama Canal" (PDF). Aquatic Invasions. 2 (3): 155–161. doi:10.3391/ai.2007.2.3.1. 
  5. ^ Joana Projecto-Garcia; Henrique Cabral; Christoph D. Schubart (2010). "High regional differentiation in a North American crab species throughout its native range and invaded European waters: a phylogeographic analysis". Biological Invasions. 12: 263–263. doi:10.1007/s10530-009-9447-y. 
  6. ^ Joanna Hegele-Drywa; Nicolas Thiercelin; Christoph D. Schubart; Monika Normant-Saremba (2015). "Genetic diversity of the non-native crab Rhithropanopeus harrisii (Brachyura: Panopeidae) in the Polish coastal waters− an example of patchy genetic diversity at a small geographic scale". Oceanological and Hydrobiological Studies. 44 (3): 305–315. doi:10.1015/ohs-2015-0029. 
  7. ^ Terrence Boyle, Jr., Donald Keith & Russell Pfau (2010). "Occurrence, reproduction, and population genetics of the estuarine mud crab, Rhithropanopeus harrisii (Gould) (Decapoda, Panopidae) in Texas freshwater reservoirs". Crustaceana. 83 (4): 493–505. doi:10.1163/001121610X492148. 
  8. ^ Dominique G. Roche & Mark E. Torchin (2007). "Established population of the North American Harris mud crab, Rhithropanopeus harrisii (Gould 1841) (Crustacea: Brachyura: Xanthidae) in the Panama Canal" (PDF). Aquatic Invasions. 2 (3): 155–161. doi:10.3391/ai.2007.2.3.1.