, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 547-552

A prediction come true: the green crab invades the Patagonian coast

Abstract

We report the finding of the European green crab on the Atlantic coast of Patagonia. A total of 61 specimens were found in Camarones bay (Chubut Province, Argentina) in November 2003 and January 2004. Carapace widths ranged between 39.9 and 71.4 mm for females, and 51.4 and 81.4 mm for males. All of the females were sexually mature, and most had already spawned. Size frequency distributions and temperature conditions in the area suggest that the species had been introduced at least 3–4 years before our finding (1999–2000). The analysis of surface seawater temperature in the native and non-native ranges of distribution of the species suggests that the crab would be able to colonize the eastern coast of South America from southern Brazil (29°S) to the mouth of the Magellan Strait (52°S). Possible areas of introduction to the region and vectors are discussed.