The Asian paddle crab, sometimes called Lady Crab, can vary in colour from red/purple/orange to pale green and off-white. It has six distinct spines either side of the eyes with the shell width reaching 12cm.
It is an aggressive crab that can outcompete with native species for food and habitat. It is also known to carry the White Spot Syndrome Virus that can impact native and farmed prawns, crabs and lobsters.
Asian paddle crab / Charybdis japonica
Similar native species
These native species may be confused with this marine pest.
Blue swimmer crab / Portunus pelagicus
Mud crab / Scylla serrata
Coral crab / Charybdis feriata
On the 1st July the NSW Government implemented the new Biosecurity Act 2015 (the Act). Under Schedule 2 of this Act the Asian paddle 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 this 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 Asian paddle crab so that you can report any suspected new sighting.
If you see this pest in NSW, please report it immediately