Chinese mitten crab

variants: or less commonly mitten crab

Definition of Chinese mitten crab

: a catadromous burrowing crab (Eriocheir sinensis of the family Varunidae) native to eastern Asia that has a light brown to olive green carapace and white-tipped claws with distinctive thick patches of setae

called also hairy crab

Note: The Chinese mitten crab has been accidentally introduced into waterways of Europe and North America where it is considered an invasive species. It is valued as a food in Chinese cuisine.

Last year, Chinese mitten crabs—an "exotic" crustacean from Asia—overwhelmed government water pumps in the Sacramento River-San Joaquin River Delta during their autumnal spawning migration to San Francisco Bay. At their peak, 20,000 to 40,000 mitten crabs a day clogged the screens to the federal delta pumps …— Glen Martin, San Francisco Chronicle, 18 Oct. 1999 She has seen the Chinese mitten crab, a new invader within the past decade, in the Hudson River. It digs burrows in riverbanks, which can speed erosion. — James M. O'Neill, The Record (Bergen County, New Jersey), 14 Apr. 2013

First Known Use of Chinese mitten crab

1934, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of Chinese mitten crab was in 1934

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Dictionary Entries Near Chinese mitten crab

Chinese millet

Chinese mitten crab

Chinese money plant

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Cite this Entry

“Chinese mitten crab.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Sep. 2022.

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