An alien crab named as one of the planet’s worst invasive species has been found in the wild in Scotland for the first time.
A female Chinese mitten crab has been discovered in the River Clyde near Dalmarnock.
John Clark, a bailiff for the Mid Clyde Angling Association, found the hand-sized creature while patrolling the river in search of illegal eel traps and passed it on to the Clyde River Foundation (CRF) for examination.
“Another invasive, non-native species appears to have arrived in the Clyde,” said Dr Willie Yeomans, catchment manager for CRF.
“This chance discovery by an angler poses a potentially significant ecological threat to the Clyde system, the biota of which is recovering from centuries of poor water quality and structural modification.
“Without putting too much emphasis on this one specimen, this finding potentially has very serious implications for river management under the EU Water Framework Directive.
“Our first priority is to follow up the finding with survey work to determine if there is an established population of mitten crabs in the Clyde and we are appealing for information from anyone who may have encountered these animals on the river.”