Using Public Sightings to Document the Widespread Distribution of the Non-Endemic Blue Land Crab, Cardisoma guanhumi, in South Carolina
Elizabeth Scott1, Michael Kendrick1, Peter Kingsley-Smith1, Megan James2, Joe Lemeris2, Erin Weeks3, and Daniel Sasson1,*
1Marine Resources Research Institute, Marine Resources Division, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, 217 Fort Johnson Road, Charleston, SC 29412. 2Heritage Trust Program, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division, 1000 Assembly Street, Columbia, SC 29201. 3Coastal Reserves and Outreach, Marine Resources Division, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, 217 Fort Johnson Road, Charleston, SC 29412. *Corresponding author.
Southeastern Naturalist, Volume 22, Issue 4 (2023): 498–503
Cardisoma guanhumi (Blue Land Crab) is a semi-terrestrial crab commonly found from Brazil northwards to the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean, and southern Florida in the United States. The northern extent of its range along the eastern seaboard of the United States had been documented as Vero Beach, FL, in 1962; however, in August 2022, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources officials received a series of unsolicited reports of this species, prompting them to examine its distribution. A total of 53 verified Blue Land Crab sightings were reported from September to November 2022 in South Carolina. These results indicate that the Blue Land Crab is widely distributed in South Carolina, an area outside of its historical native ranges.
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