, Volume 767, Issue 1, pp 321–331 | Cite as

Factors determining active dispersal capacity of adult Chinese mitten crab Eriocheir sinensis (Decapoda, Varunidae)

  • C. Fialho
  • F. Banha
  • P. M. Anastácio
Primary Research Paper


The Chinese mitten crab (Eriocheir sinensis) is an invasive crustacean with a widespread distribution, sometimes overlapping with the red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii). E. sinensis performs long river migrations, often moving overland to cross obstacles, but the factors affecting its movement are not well known. We studied its movement speed in and out of water, the survival time out of water and also its interaction with the red swamp crayfish during dispersal. At 16°C the LT50 (time to death of 50% of the individuals) was 70 h, with a mean weight loss of 20%, and at 24°C the LT50 was 31 h, with a mean 22% weight loss. In and out of the water, these crabs moved with mean velocities of 0.074 and 0.016 m s−1, respectively. P. clarkii did not affect the dispersion of E. sinensis. This crab was able to disperse under various environmental conditions and its speed was affected by density, temperature, relative humidity, carapace length, and condition of the individuals (Fulton index). Moreover, we found that this species has a great capacity to resist desiccation. These characteristics give them all the requirements to successfully invade and adapt to new areas.


Eriocheir sinensis Desiccation Competition Dispersal Velocity Procambarus clarkii 



We thank Professor Manuel Rijo and José Duarte for the access to Canal Hidraúlico da Mitra. We also thank the two anonymous reviewers for their useful contributions for the improvement of the paper. This research was performed within the scope of the DID (Dispersal of Invasive Decapoda) (PTDC/BIA-BEC/105182/2008) research project funded by the Portuguese Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT) and co-financed by FEDER, through the Eixo I of the Programa Operacional Factores de Competitividade (POFC) from QREN. F. Banha holds a PhD Grant from FCT (SFRH/BD/81378/2011).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.MARE - Centro de Ciências do Mar e do Ambiente, Departamento de Paisagem, Ambiente e Ordenamento, Escola de Ciências e TecnologiaUniversidade de ÉvoraÉvoraPortugal

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