Scientia Marina, Vol 76, No 1 (2012)

First record and evidence of an established population of the North American mud crab Dyspanopeus sayi (Brachyura: Heterotremata: Panopeidae) in the western Mediterranean

Christoph D. Schubart
Biologie I, Universität Regensburg , Germany

Guillermo Guerao
IRTA, Unitat Operativa de Cultius Aqüàtics , Spain

Pere Abelló
Institut de Ciències del Mar (CSIC) , Spain


The panopeid crab Dyspanopeus sayi (Smith, 1869) is reported here from the Ebro Delta (Mediterranean coast of the Iberian Peninsula). Originally endemic to the Atlantic coast of North America, D. sayiz was involuntarily introduced into Britain, France and the Netherlands, and into the Adriatic and Black Sea within the last thirty years. Here we provide the first record of this species from the western Mediterranean Sea. Occurrences of ovigerous females at different localities of the delta and in different years provide evidence that the population is well established. Mitochondrial DNA confirms the identity of the species and indicates that the introduced population consists of at least three female lineages. The first zoeal stage of D. sayi was obtained in the laboratory from an ovigerous female captured in August 2010 with embryos in an advanced stage of development. The morphology of the zoea I is described here in detail and is similar to the one previously reported for native populations.


Dyspanopeus sayi; alien species; Mediterranean; Ebro Delta; mtDNA sequences; zoea

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