Juvenille crab was found at a salmon set-net site. Is this a Puget Sound species that has now been found on the Alaska Peninsula?
Observation by Peter Devine Jr. and Karen Pletnikoff:
Peter Devine, Jr. found this crab wrapped up in the leaves on a set-net site on the Alaska Peninsula in Orzinski Bay. Is it a juvenile Puget Sound King Crab (Lopholithodes mandtii)? Would they be considered an invasive species?
Comments by LEO Network editors:
Thank you Peter and Karen for sharing this observation. There has been quite a bit of discussion about invasive crab species in recent months, in particular the Asian green crabs reported in Southeast Alaska. There movement of endemic species into new areas of Alaska is however, a new topic in LEO Network. We have shared this observation with our friends at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the regional Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program in Unalaska, for their advice and comment. Mike Brubaker
Comment by Asia Beder:
I haven’t heard back from any of the research biologist yet but here is a little bit of the feedback I have received. It is a Puget Sound king crab. I don’t know much about their biology so not sure if it would be a juvenile or not. Puget Sound crab are found in Southeast AK. Orzinksi Bay on the AK Peninsula is a more southern latitude than Sitka, where they occur, so it wouldn’t be impossible for the area to support a small population. The crab in the photo looks young, so perhaps a small population is around that area, or it could just be a solo crab that traveled over on a ship. We wouldn’t consider it an invasive species, but it is certainly unusual to see on the Peninsula.Will be interesting to see what feedback you get from any of the other members of the network. Thanks again for forwarding! 9-12-22