Marine Introduced Species Monitoring Resource Center
Collecting adequate data for a particular species takes many people working together. This is one reason students and their teachers are being asked to join the Citizen Scientist Initiative: Marine Invasive Species Monitoring Organization (CSI MISMO). Here are some of the things you will learn and how you can be part of scientific research project in the Gulf of Maine being conducted by Dave Delaney, McGill University.
Measuring a Crab's Carapace Width
After collecting crabs, you will measure each crab shell at the widest section of carapace. If crabs are less than 5 mm or too small to measure, indicate that it is too small to accurately measure by putting a ? in the size column on the data sheet.
Determining Sex of Crabs
You will be asked to record the sex of each crab that you measure. You can determine the crab's sex by looking at the underside of the crab's carapace. The shape of the abdomen or tail flap is different for males and females. The male has a thin triangular apron, while the female's is larger and rounder. Sex of young juveniles may not be decipherable. Male Asian shore crabs can also be identified by the presence of a bulb-like structure on the inside of the pincer claws.
Under the guidance of Salem Sound Coastwatch staff, high school students have been banding Asian shore crabs and green crabs. The information they collect will be used by Dave Delaney of McGill University in his research to develop a population/spread model to predict expansion of marine aquatic invaders, in particular the European green crab and Asian shore crab.
Banded Asian shore crabs being released one meter from trap.
trap secured and baited with cat food ready
Click here for more information on how to become involved in CSI MISMO and to monitor for crabs in New England: Find the invasive crabs and help the scientists.
For Students and teachers: By being citizen scientists, students will
Nab the Aquatic Invader! Be a Sea Grant Super Sleuth
invasive species national education site asks students in grades 4–6
(or just starting to investigate invaders) to become Junior Detectives
or students in grades 7–10 (or those who want a bigger challenge)
to become Super Sleuths.