Association with vessel vectors

Actual evidence of being found in samples in a particular vector from any world region.

Anchor and anchor chains. Organisms found on anchors, anchor chain or within attached sediments, including anchor chain lockers.

Ballast water. Ballast water means water with its suspended matter taken on board a ship to control trim, list, draught, stability or stresses of the ship.

Biofouling. Biofouling means the accumulation of aquatic organisms such as micro-organisms, plants, and animals on surfaces and structures immersed in or exposed to the aquatic environment. Biofouling can include microfouling and macrofouling.

  • Macrofouling means large, distinct multicellular organisms visible to the human eye such as barnacles, tubeworms, or fronds of algae.
  • Microfouling means microscopic organisms including bacteria and diatoms and the slimy substances that they produce.
Biofouling comprised of only microfouling is commonly referred to as a slime layer.

Sea chest. The sea chests are cavities (an opening with protection grid) at the bottom side of the ships’ hull (an opening for pumping in and out water for, e.g., ballasting, firefighting) where aquatic organisms may settle and be transported.

Tank sediments. Matter settled out of ballast water within a ship.

Bioaccumulation association

Natural toxins. An organism that accumulates toxins naturally produced by other organisms, such as phytotoxins, in its tissues.

Anthropogenic chemical compounds. An organism that accumulates human-produced chemicals, such as pharmaceuticals, heavy metals, pesticides, dioxins, in its tissues.

Characteristic feeding method

Chemoautotroph. An organism that obtains metabolic energy by oxidation of inorganic substrates such as sulphur, nitrogen or iron.

Deposit feeder – Subsurface. Synonym: detritivore. An organism feeding on fragmented particulate organic matter in the substratum.

Deposit feeder – Surface. Synonym: detritivore. An organism feeding on fragmented particulate organic matter from the surface of the substratum.

Grazer. An organism feeding on plants (higher aquatic plants, benthic algae and phytoplankton) and/or sessile animals organisms.

Herbivore. An organism feeding on plants (higher aquatic plants, benthic algae and phytoplankton).

Mixotroph. An organism both autotrophic and heterotrophic.

Omnivore. An organism feeding on mixed diet of plant and animal material.

Parasite. Feeding on the tissues, blood or other substances of a host.

Photoautotroph. An organism that obtains metabolic energy from light by photosynthesis (e.g. seaweeds, phytoplankton).

Planktotroph. An organism feeding on plankton.

Predator. An organism that feeds by preying on other organisms, killing them for food.

Scavenger. An organism feeding on dead and decaying organic material.

Suspension feeder – Active. An organism feeding on particulate organic matter, including plankton, suspended in the water column, collecting it actively by sweeping or pumping (creating feeding currents).

Suspension feeder – Passive. An organism feeding on particulate organic matter, including plankton, suspended in the water column, utilizing the natural flow to bring particles in contact with feeding structures.

Symbiont contribution. Where some dietary component(s) are provided by symbiotic organisms (e.g. Anemonia with zooxanthellae).

Developmental trait

Brooding. The incubation of eggs either inside or outside the body. Eggs may be brooded to a variety of developmental stages. Males or females may be responsible for brooding.

Direct development. A life cycle lacking a larval stage.

Spawning. The release of gametes into the water.

Lecithotrophy. Development at the expense of internal resources (i.e. yolk) provided by the female.

Parental care. Any form of parental behaviour that is likely to increase the fitness of offspring.

Planktotrophy. Feeding on plankton.

Resting stages. The quiescent stage in the life cycle (dormancy, diapause).

Viviparous. Producing live offspring from within parental body.

Habitat modifying ability potential

Autogenic ecosystem engineers. Organisms which change the environment via their own physical structures (i.e. their living and dead tissues) such as corals, oysters, kelps, sea grasses, etc.

Allogenic ecosystem engineers. Organisms which modify the environment by causing physical state changes in biotic and abiotic materials that, directly or indirectly, modulate the availability of resources to other species (e.g. excavating deep burrows which other organisms co-occupy, damming the water flow, etc).

Keystone species. A keystone species is crucial in maintaining the organization and diversity of its ecological community, by determining the types and numbers of other species.

Life form

Neuston. Organisms that live on (epineuston) or under (hyponeuston) the surface film of water bodies.

Zoobenthos. Animals living on or in the seabed.

Phytobenthos. Algae and higher plants living on or in the seabed.

Zooplankton. Animals living in the water column, unable to maintain their position independent of water movements.

Phytoplankton. Microscopic plankton algae and cyanobacteria.

Benthopelagos. Synonyms: hyperbenthic, benthopelagic, nektobenthic, demersal. An organism living at, in or near the bottom of the sea, but having the ability to swim.

Nekton. Actively swimming aquatic organisms able to move independently of water currents.

Parasite. An organism intimately associated with and metabolically dependent on another living organism (host) for completion of its life cycle.

Symbiont (nonparasitic). An organism living mutually with another species without harming it. Association of two species (symbionts) may be mutually beneficial.


Boring. An organism capable of penetrating a solid substrate by mechanical scraping or chemical dissolution.

Burrowing. An organism capable of digging in sediment.

Crawling. An organism moving slowly along on the substrate.

Drifting. An organism whose movement is dependent on wind or water currents.

Permanent attachment. Non-motile; permanently attached at the base. Also includes permanent attachment to a host.

Swimming. An organism capable of moving through the water by means of fins, limbs or appendages.

Temporary attachment. Temporary / sporadic attachment. Attached to a substratum but capable of movement across (or through) it (e.g. Actinia). Also includes temporary attachment to a host.

Native origin

The region the species originates from.


References should follow the standard of Biological invasions:

Journal article
Gamelin FX, Baquet G, Berthoin S, Thevenet D, Nourry C, Nottin S, Bosquet L (2009) Effect of high intensity intermittent training on heart rate variability in prepubescent children. Eur J Appl Physiol 105:731-738. doi: 10.1007/s00421-008-0955-8
Ideally, the names of all authors should be provided, but the usage of “et al” in long author lists will also be accepted:
Smith J, Jones M Jr, Houghton L et al (1999) Future of health insurance. N Engl J Med 965:325–329

Article by DOI

Slifka MK, Whitton JL (2000) Clinical implications of dysregulated cytokine production. J Mol Med. doi:10.1007/s001090000086

South J, Blass B (2001) The future of modern genomics. Blackwell, London

Book chapter
Brown B, Aaron M (2001) The politics of nature. In: Smith J (ed) The rise of modern genomics, 3rd edn. Wiley, New York, pp 230-257

Online document
Cartwright J (2007) Big stars have weather too. IOP Publishing PhysicsWeb. Accessed 26 June 2007

Trent JW (1975) Experimental acute renal failure. Dissertation, University of California

Reproductive frequency

Iteroparous. Organisms breeding more than once in their lifetime.

Semelparous. Organisms breeding once in their lifetime.

Reproductive type

Asexual. Budding, Fission, Fragmentaion, including parthenogenesis. A form of asexual multiplication in which:
a) a new individual begins life as an outgrowth from the body of the parent. It may then separate to lead an independent existence or remain connected or otherwise associated to form a colonial organism;
b) the ovum develops into a new individual without fertilization;
c) division of the body into two or more parts each or all of which can grow into new individuals is involved.

Self-fertilization. Selfing or autogamy. The union of a male and female gamete produced by the same individual.

Sexual. Permanent hermaphrodite, Protandrous hermaphrodite, Protogynous hermaphrodite, Gonochoristic.
Capable of producing both ova and spermatozoa either at the same time. A condition of hermaphroditism in plants and animals where male gametes mature and are shed before female gametes mature or vice versa.
Having separate sexes.


The exact salinity range if known (psu), else salinity zone(s) according to the Venice system:
1. Limnetic [<0.5psu]
2. β-Oligohaline [0.5-3psu]
3. α-Oligohaline [3-5psu]
4. β-Mesohaline [5-10psu]
5. α-Mesohaline [10-18psu]
6. Polymixohaline [18-30psu]
7. Euhaline [30-40psu]
8. Hypersaline [>40psu]


Colonial. Descriptive of organisms produced asexually which remain associated with each other; in many animals, retaining tissue contact with other polyps or zooids as a result of incomplete budding.

Gregarious. Organisms living in groups or communities, growing in clusters.

Solitary. Living alone, not gregarious.

Sub-species level

A geographical subset of a species showing discrete differences in morphology, coloration or other features when compared with other members of the species. Subspecies may also differ in their habitat or behavior, but they can interbreed. Often the lowest taxonomic level within a classification system.


Valid synonyms of a species (not all of them).


Poisonous. An organism capable of producing poison that gains entry to another organism body via the gastrointestinal tract, the respiratory tract, or via absorption through intact body layers.

Venomous. An organism capable of producing poison, usually injected through another organism intact skin by bite or sting.

Not relevant. Neither poisonous nor venomous.

Public domain: Species account

Species Paralithodes camtschaticus [WoRMS]
Authority (Tilesius, 1815)
Family Lithodidae  
Order Decapoda  
Class Malacostraca  
Phylum Arthropoda  
Synonym (?) Paralithodes camtschatica
Sub-species level (?) Not entered
Native origin (?) Country: Japan
--> LME: 51. Oyashio Current

The red king crab, P. camtschaticus, is native to the Okhotsk and Japan seas, the Bering Sea and the northern Pacific Ocean. In the 1960s it was intentionally released by Russian scientists into the Barents Sea to create a new fishing resource.
Life form / Life stage (?)
 AdultJuvenileLarvaeEggsResting stage
Symbiont (non parasitic)
Sociability / Life stage (?)
 AdultJuvenileLarvaeEggsResting stage
Reproductive frequency (?) Iteroparous

References (not structured):
Stevens, B. G., & Swiney, K. M. (2007). Hatch timing, incubation period, and reproductive cycle for captive primiparous and multiparous red king crab, Paralithodes camtschaticus. Journal of Crustacean Biology, 27(1), 37-48.
Reproductive type (?) Sexual

Rodin VE (1989) Population Biology of the King Crab Paralithodes camtschatica Tilesius in the North Pacific Ocean. In: Proc. Int. Symp. King & Tanner Crabs Nov. 1989, Anchorage, Alaska, 133-144
Developmental trait (?) Brooding

Rodin VE (1989) Population Biology of the King Crab Paralithodes camtschatica Tilesius in the North Pacific Ocean. In: Proc. Int. Symp. King & Tanner Crabs Nov. 1989, Anchorage, Alaska, 133-144

Female P. camtschaticus brood eggs underneath their tail flap for about 11 months. Fecundity varies between 15,000 to nearly 500,000 eggs, depending on area (Jewett and Onuf, 1988). The crab larvae develop in the coastal zone. After hatching into a brief (couple of minutes) prozoea stage, the larvae pass through four pelagic stages, followed by a settling stage (megalopa), in about two months. The larvae may be transported considerable distances by currents. For survival of the young, the larvae must be transported to favourable habitats.
Characteristic feeding method / Life stage (?)
 AdultJuvenileLarvaeEggsResting stage
Suspension feeder – Active
Suspension feeder – Passive
Deposit feeder – Surface
Deposit feeder – Sub-surface
Symbiont contribution

References (not structured):
Cunningham CW, Blackstone NW, Buss LW (1992) Evolution of king crab from hermit crab ancestors. Nature, 355:539-542

Adult red king crabs are opportunistic omnivores feeding on the most abundant benthic organisms.
The red king crab is a large generalist predator.
Mobility / Life stage (?)
 AdultJuvenileLarvaeEggsResting stage
Temporary attachment
Permanent attachment
Salinity tolerance range (?) Venice system:
6. Polymixohaline [18-30psu]
7. Euhaline [30-40psu]

Parshin-Chudin, A. V., Borisov, R. R., Kovacheva, N. P., Lebedev, R. O., & Nazartseva, M. Y. (2014). Effect of salinity on the survival of red king crab, Paralithodes camtschaticus (Tilesius, 1815), at early stages of ontogeny. Russian Journal of Ecology, 45(2), 150.
Habitat modifying ability potential (?) Keystone species

Hemmingsen W, Jansen PA, MacKenzie K (2005) Crabs, leeches and trypanosomes: an unholy trinity? Marine Pollution Bulletin, 50(3):336-339.

P. camtschaticus is a generalist predator and may impact native biodiversity and exploit commercial scallop beds.
Research suggests red king crabs are indirectly responsible for increased transmission of trypanosomes to cod by promoting an increase in the populations of the leech vector.
Introduced predators are hypothesized to have the largest impact on native communities.
Toxicity / Life stage (?) Not relevant

Sagerup, K., Nahrgang, J., Frantzen, M., Larsen, L. H., & Geraudie, P. (2016). Biological effects of marine diesel oil exposure in red king crab (Paralithodes camtschaticus) assessed through a water and foodborne exposure experiment. Marine environmental research, 119, 126-135.

Kline, E. R., & Stekoll, M. S. (2000). Relative sensitivity of marine species to an effluent with elevated total dissolved solids. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry: An International Journal, 19(1), 228-233.
Bioaccumulation association (?) Anthropogenic chemical compounds
Natural toxins

Sagerup, K., Nahrgang, J., Frantzen, M., Larsen, L. H., & Geraudie, P. (2016). Biological effects of marine diesel oil exposure in red king crab (Paralithodes camtschaticus) assessed through a water and foodborne exposure experiment. Marine environmental research, 119, 126-135.

Fu, Z., Wu, F., Mo, C., Liu, B., Zhu, J., Deng, Q., ... & Zhang, Y. (2011). Bioaccumulation of antimony, arsenic, and mercury in the vicinities of a large antimony mine, China. Microchemical Journal, 97(1), 12-19.

Julshamn, K., Valdersnes, S., Duinker, A., Nedreaas, K., Sundet, J. H., & Maage, A. (2015). Heavy metals and POPs in red king crab from the Barents Sea. Food chemistry, 167, 409-417.

Can accumulate PAHs.
Association with vessel vectors (?) Ballast waters

Faccia, I., Alyakrinsky, A., & Bianchi, C. N. (2009). The crab that came in from the cold: first record of Paralithodes camtschaticus (Tilesius, 1815) in the Mediterranean Sea. Aquatic Invasions, 4(4), 715-718.

Molecular information Available

References (not structured):
Kim, S., Choi, H. G., Park, J. K., & Min, G. S. (2013). The complete mitochondrial genome of the subarctic red king crab, Paralithodes camtschaticus (Decapoda, Anomura). Mitochondrial DNA, 24(4), 350-352.
Last update byAgnese Marchini, 2020-06-02