• Charybdis japonica;
  • crab;
  • hepatopancreas;
  • Kure Bay;
  • paralytic shellfish poisoning


The accumulation of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxin in the crab Charybdis japonica was investigated in Kure Bay, when a bivalve Mytilus galloprovincialis, in the same water, showed toxicity caused by PSP toxin. In 2005, 17 specimens of the crab had PSP toxin over 4 MU/g in the hepatopancreas, and the highest toxicity was at 37.4 MU/g. Since the regulation limit of PSP for crab hepatopancreas was set in 2004, this is the first observation of regulatory level of PSP toxin in C. japonica. Unlike in the hepatopancreas of the crab, the hazardous level of the toxin was not detected in the muscle of the cephalothorax and the appendage. The toxin accumulation in the crab was also investigated by feeding toxic mussels to the crab. The crab retained the toxin mainly in the hepatopancreas, and the ratio of retention in the crab was from 12.9 to 24.6%. The toxin profiles, shown in the feeding experiments, suggest that the transformation of PSP toxin occurs in the crab because dcGTX2 and dcGTX3 was detected in all crab specimens despite the lack of these analogs in the mussels used as feed.