The brush-clawed shore crab is a small crab (up to 2.5cm) that is usually orange-brown in colour, but can be green or maroon. It can be distinguished by the light brown to yellow fur patches at the base of the pincers on the male’s claws.
It lives in a range of habitats from rocky intertidal to muddy subtidal habitats and is an omnivorous species with a broad diet that can compete with native crabs and prey upon native fish and invertebrate species.
Brush-clawed shore crab / Hemigrapsus takanoi
Similar native species
These native species may be confused with this marine pest.
Swift-footed crab / Leptograpsus variegatus
Smooth shore crab / Cyclograpsus audouinii
On the 1st July the NSW Government implemented a new Biosecurity Act 2015 (the Act). Under Schedule 2 of this Act the Brush Clawed Shore Crab is declared as prohibited matter in NSW. This means it is illegal to possess, buy, sell or move this pest in NSW. Heavy penalties apply for non-compliance. In addition, NSW DPI has the power to seize and require the destruction of the pest.
People are expected to have a basic level of knowledge about the biosecurity risks they might encounter in their normal work and recreational activities. All community members have a general biosecurity duty to consider how actions, or in some cases lack of action could have a negative impact on another person, business enterprise, animal or the environment. We must then take all reasonable and practical measures to prevent or minimise the potential impact.
Learn to recognise, and be aware of, the brush-clawed shore crab so that you can report any suspected new sighting.
If you see this pest in NSW, please report it immediately