Phylum Arthropoda / Class Crustacea / Subclass
Superorder Eucarida / Order Decapoda / Suborder Reptantia
Section Brachyura / Family Grapsidae
The greyish-green to light or dark brown adults characteristically
hairy, mitten-like claws of equal size with white tips
(Horwath 1989, Nickles 1997). However, Panning (1938) remarked that no
grew on the claws if they had been
regenerated. Thus, it may be misleading to use characteristically hairy
claws as the sole identifier of these crabs.
The carapace ranges from 47-87mm in width and is smooth and round to
subsquare in shape (Hieb 1997, Horwath 1989).
The legs are more than twice as long as the carapace is wide (Nickles
1997). Most importantly, the reliable distinguishing
characteristic of the Chinese mitten crab is the four lateral carapace
the fourth one being rather small