Monday, June 5, 2023

They are asking for help to detect spider crabs, an invasive species on the islands

The crustacean, in the American and African regions, has a high rate of reproduction and it is feared that native biodiversity will be threatened.

The Universität de les Illes Balears (UIB) and the Department of the Environment of the Government ask for the cooperation of the citizen to detect the species of invasion that is spreading rapidly throughout the Mediterranean basin. The spider is cancer. Organizations encourage those who encounter it to return photographs. With this, its spread in the community and its consequences will be investigated.

The spider crab, also called the plane crab, is included in the Spanish Catalog of Invasive Alien Species. It was first discovered in the Mediterranean in 1999, in the Balearic Islands and on the island of Linosa, in the Strait of Sicily. Since then it has spread very rapidly from the Iberian Peninsula to the shores of Turkey and Libya. At all points it establishes population and density in a very short time.

This expansion reflects its high speed of reproduction and the cancer acts as a vector of propagation. It is usually found in rocky areas, feeding on vegetation and grasses, algae and sometimes small crustaceans, worms and sea snails. Researchers are concerned that the spread of this species is putting other native crabs at risk.

How to help

UIB’s interdisciplinary ecological research group, with the support of the Department of Environment, is in charge of studying the impact of spider crabs on local biodiversity. Different stations are monitoring it and, in parallel, its distribution is analyzed. Researchers have already visited 145 locations where they have confirmed their presence. Also, many things are unsolvable, which is why citizens are asking for cooperation.

To do this, they ask that if anyone sees a spider crab, take a photo of it, write an email and send the information to [email protected]. It can also be sent through the website

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Desk
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