Portunus AGP-4 - History


(AGP-4: dp. 3,960; 1. 328'0"; b. S0'0"; dr. 13'6"; s. 12 k.;
cpl. 283; a. 2 3", 8 40mm., 8 20mm.; cl. Portunus.)

The first Portunue (AGP-4) was laid down as LST~SO by the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, 12 November 1942; launehed 11 February 1943 as Portunue (AGP-4); and commissioned at Baltimore, Md., 12 June 1943, Lt. Comdr. James R. Hanna in command.

After shakedown along the east coast this motor torpedo boat tender departed the U.S. 23 July l9i3 in TG 29.6 for the Panama Canal, whence she continued to Australia. At Cairns, 10 October, she loaded PT Base 4 gear for transport to Kana Kope, New Guinea. On the 20th she arrived at Buna, New Guinea, and until 4 July 1944 repaired and serviced U.S. and Australian naval units operating along the New Guinea coast.

Underway 4 July in convoy with Hilo and 8 units of MTB Squadron 25, Portunus arrived at Mios Woendi in the Sehoutens 9 July. Through December, she underwent overhaul at Brisbane, and on 29 January 1945 returned to Mios Woendi and resumed repair work.

On 20 February she got underway for Leyte Island, whence she proceeded to Ilo Ilo, Panay, to support MTB Ron 33 during the assault there and to establish a patrol base after its sueeess. The assault waves met no apparent opposition, the enemy having set fires and demolition charges and evacuated the elty.

On 2 April Portunus got underway for Samar and Leyte. On 16 April she joined company with the remainder of TG 78.2 to land the 24th Infantry Division, U.S. Army and secure Parang, Mindanao. She steamed between various points on Mindanao and Samar, supplying MTB's, until 16 July when she got underway in convoy for Okinawa. She anchored off Hagushi, 21 July and shifted to Togouchi Harbor the next day. She serviced and repaired MTB Ron 31 and 37 and various other units through 29 September when she prepared to get underway for California and inactivation.

Decommissioned at Mare Island 18 April 1946, she was struck from the Navy List 13 November 1946, transferred to the Maritime Commission 6 February 1948 and simultaneously delivered to the Kaiser Co., Oakland, for scrapping.

Portunus earned 3 battle stars for World War II service.

AGP-4 Portunus

The Portunus-class Motor Torpedo Boat Tender was represented by ten examples (AGP-4-5, 10, 11, 14-18, 20) converted in 1943-45. The first Portunus (AGP-4) [a protunus is a swimming crab] was laid down as LST-330 by the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, 12 November 1942 launched 11 February 1943 as Portunus (AGP-4) and commissioned at Baltimore, Md., 12 June 1943.

(AGP-5: dp. 3,960 1. 328' b. 50' dr. 13'6" s. 12 k. cpl. 283 a. 1 3", 8 40mm., 8 20mm. cl. Portunus) LST-H was laid down on 23 August 1942 at Neville Island, Pa., by the Dravo Shipbuilding Yard launched on 9 December 1942 sponsored by Mrs. R. J. Mitchell renamed Varuna and designated AGP-5 on 13 January 1943 completed as an LST by Dravo on 26 March 1943 and placed in reduced commission on that date towed to Tampa, Fla., where she was converted to a motor torpedo boat tender (AGP) and commissioned on 31 August 1943,

Orestes (AGP-10) was laid down as LST-135 at Chicago, Bridge & Iron Co., Seneca, Ill., 8 July 1943 launched 16 November 1943 sponsored by Mrs. Bernard Sharp converted at Maryland Drydock Co., Baltimore, Md. and commissioned as Orestes (AGP-10) 25 April 1944, Lt. Kenneth N. Mueller in command. Successfully concluding shakedown out of Hampton Roads, Va., 23 May 1944, the motor torpedo boat tender Orestes prepared for duty in the Pacific.

LST-604 was laid down on 28 October 1943 by the Chicago Bridge & Iron Co., Seneca, 111. launched on 20 March 1944 sponsored by Miss Bernice Moore placed in reduced commission on 3 April 1944 and placed in full commission on 8 April 1944. The ship was originally designated LST-519 but was redesignated as LST-604 on 18 December 1943 and made her shakedown as such from 12 to 18 April 1944. She was decommissioned on 29 April at Baltimore where she entered the Maryland Drydock Co. Yard for conversion. She was again commissioned on 9 August, classified as AGP-11 and named Silenus. USS Silenus completed her shakedown in the Chesapeake Bay as a motor torpedo boat tender on 9 September.

Originally projected as LST-977, this vessel was reclassified a motor torpedo boat tender on 12 June 1944 simultaneously named Alecto and redesignated AGP-14 laid down on 12 December 1944 at Hingham, Mass., by the Bethlehem-Hingham Shipbuilding Co. launched on 15 January 1945 acquired by the Navy and placed in commission on 8 February 1945 for movement to Baltimore decommissioned there on 23 February 1945 for conversion by the Maryland Drydock Co. to a motor torpedo boat tender and recommissioned on 28 July 1945. The tender got underway on 6 August for shakedown training in the Chesapeake Bay and, on 2 September, was assigned to Service Forces, Atlantic Fleet. Following a period of training and upkeep at Norfolk, Va., she sailed for Albany, N.Y., on 14 October and arrived there two days later.

Alecto moored at the Army Supply Depot at Albany and began servicing motor torpedo boats. On 10 November, the ship moved to Melville, R.I., and engaged in repair work for Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron (MTBRon) 4. In January 1946, she made two voyages from Melville to Solomons Island, Md., transporting equipment for MTBRon 4 and, from March through May, she was stationed there. She sailed to Charleston, S.C., in early June and was placed out of commission there on 28 June 1946. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 28 June 1947. The vessel was transferred to the government of Turkey on 10 May 1948 and was later renamed Onaran.

Originally projected as LST-773, the second Antigone was re-classified a motor torpedo boat tender and redesignated AGP-16 on 14 August 1944 laid down on 15 August 1944 at Seneca, 111., by the Chicago Bridge & Iron Co. launched on 27 October 1944 sponsored by Mrs. Mary Ellen Needham Fisher commissioned in reduced status on 17 November 1944 at Algiers, La., for the voyage to Baltimore, Md. decommissioned on 5 December 1944 for conversion by the Maryland Drydock Co., to a motor torpedo boat tender and placed in full commission on 14 May 1945.

AGP-20 Pontus was laid down as LST-201 by the Chicago Bridge and Iron Co., Seneca, Ill., 13 July 1942, launched 2 March 1943, placed in reduced commission 24 March 1943 and ferried down the Mississippi River to Algiers, La., and commissioned in full 2 April 1943. Following shakedown off the Florida coast, LST-201, with LCT-254 on her deck got underway for the Pacific 22 May 1943. On 11 August she arrived at Brisbane, thence shifting northward to Mackay for partial conversion to a motor torpedo boat tender. After installation of water distillers, machine and carpentry shops, extra generators and a ten- ton crane and the embarkation of a Navy repair crew, the LST moved up the Australian coast toward New Guinea. On 18 October she arrived at Milne Bay, completed conversion, and on 18 November continued on to Buna, Morobe, and, finally, Dreger Harbor. There, until after the fall of Saidor, she tended PT boats operating along the coast of New Guinea to cut the Japanese barge supply line to their troops on that island and on New Britain.

SHELLFISH | Commercially Important Crustacea

Marine Crabs

The so-called ‘true’ crabs and, to some extent, certain ‘crab-like’ lobsters are the pinnacle of the tendency amongst decapod crustaceans to abandon the pelagic, swimming lifestyle. Their commercial importance no longer relies on tail meat, owing to their rudimentary, indeed vestigial, abdomen. Crabs hide from attack in burrows, buried in sand or beneath rocks, or perhaps rely for protection upon sheer size, a heavy cuticle, and threatening, sometimes well-muscled claws.

The marine production of true crabs in 1999 was about 1.3 million tonnes, or about 16.4% of global crustacean production. It is hard to be definitive as to the contribution of individual species to this total. As much as 26% of the total is represented by statistics that are only assigned to the broadest categories. Still, the available detail reveals a number of significant fisheries for swimming crabs of the Family Portunidae, particular centered in Asia. This group of crabs swim using a pair of modified, paddle-like legs. This, if anything, reiterates the capacity of evolution to reinvent a trait since lost in other crabs. About a third of estimated true crab production is represented by the swimming crabs Portunus trituberculatus (22%) and P. pelagicus (10%). Another important swimming portunid, the blue crab Callinectes sapidus from the east coast of the USA represents just 8% of the crab total. To contrast this approximately 40% share for portunids, the spider crabs (queen, snow, or tanner crabs, Chionoecetes spp.) together account for 16% of the total for true crabs. A diversity of other species of crab are harvested, and perhaps a discussion of the true crabs should not omit mention of the edible crabs, Cancridae, represented by various species of Cancer.

A small number of crab-like lobsters are not included in this total for true crabs. Marine crab-like lobsters such as stone crabs (Lithodidae, 57 500 tonnes) and squat lobsters (Galatheidae, around 26 500 tonnes) together account for only about 1% of global crustacean production. Taxonomically, these crustaceans belong to the diverse Infraorder Anomura. This assemblage of crustaceans has a diversity of body forms, though again with a trend for the abdomen to shrink. The major species of stone crabs and squat lobsters are, respectively, the Alaskan king crab Paralithodes camtschaticus and the red squat lobster Pleuroncodes monodon.

Crabs are harvested in a variety of ways, ranging from trawls to pots. Some farm production of portunid crabs has been achieved using Scylla spp. and Portunus pelagicus in South-east Asia, but it has some way to go before it reaches levels of production typical of shrimp farming. Probably the most unusual method of harvesting a crab or indeed any crustacean is one that takes advantage of the ability of crustaceans to regrow missing limbs. In the fishery for the stone crab Menippe mercenaria, only the claws are harvested, and the crab is returned to the sea, to grow new claws! The processing and marketing of newly molted blue crabs C. sapidus as ‘soft-shell’ crabs is another case where crustacean physiology is exploited commercially.

Processing options for crabs are broadly similar to those applied to shrimp, though in contrast to shrimp, many ‘minor’ species of crabs are often sold, transported, and marketed while alive, giving them a high level of consumer recognition. The live trade is preferred over that for raw chilled or frozen product, because the digestive gland (hepatopancreas) breaks down soon after death, discoloring the meat and releasing digestive proteases that readily soften the meat.

Unlike shrimp and lobsters, crabs cannot be conveniently ‘headed’ to remove the digestive gland. Instead of ‘peeling’ cooked crabs, more ingenuity is required to cut or saw through the thicker exoskeleton. The catch from the big tonnage fisheries is processed in large quantities and may reach the consumer in a highly refined form. Crabs taken live to a processor can be cooked (to inactivate the enzymes) and sold either whole/frozen or in a progressively broken apart form, to give packaged/frozen or canned meat. Processing the cooked product involves breaking open the shell and extracting the meat associated with the leg muscles and the claws. Though the details differ between species, picked meat production is probably as close as the crab sector comes to achieving the ‘commodity’ status as a source of convenience food. Conditions of strict hygiene must be employed during picking, because physically breaking the shell to extract meat presents an opportunity for the introduction of microbial contamination (e.g. Listeria and other pathogens), unless the product is further pasteurized. These risks can be addressed using the principles of HACCP.

Significant quantities of crabs are processed by individual factories, which translates into a considerable amount of waste. As companies in some countries are increasingly finding that waste costs money to dispose of, attention continues to be paid to economically recovering saleable material or products (e.g., chitin, astaxanthin, and other biological material) from the waste.


Portunus is Mater Matuta's son, the goddess which protects the Roman matrons and is honoured during the Matralia on june 11th, since Mater Matuta (Aurora) was assimilated to the Greek goddess Leucothea (The white goddess), former Ino, who were the mother of the marine deity Palaemon, assimilated to Portunus.

The antiquity of Portunus, his early character into the cults of the city and his originality are inferred from his name, his yearly festival and his flamen. His temple, near the Forum Boarium "Cattle market", where also were celebrated the Portunalia on August 17, and the portus Tiberinus is still standing.

You can see it near the Aemilius pons (ponte Rotto). The street to the port, called vicus Lucceius, went by the Porta Flumentana, in the Servian Wall, then passed between the Temple of Portunus and the Portus Tiberinus. This was the place of the processions and the ceremonies of the Portunalia, each August 17 (a.d. XVI Kal. Septembres).

Temple of Portunus, Rome

This small temple is a rare surviving example from the Roman Republic. It is both innovative and traditional.

Temple of Portunus (or Fortuna Virilis), c. 75 B.C.E. (Roman Republic), tufa, travertine, concrete (Forum Boarium, Rome)

The Temple of Portunus is a well preserved late second or early first century B.C.E. rectangular temple in Rome, Italy. Its dedication to the God Portunus—a divinity associated with livestock, keys, and harbors—is fitting given the building’s topographical position near the ancient river harbor of the city of Rome.

Temple of Portunus (formerly known as Fortuna Virilis), travertine, tufa, and stucco, c. 120-80 B.C.E., Rome

The city of Rome during its Republican phase was characterized, in part, by monumental architectural dedications made by leading, elite citizens, often in connection with key political or military accomplishments. Temples were a particularly popular choice in this category given their visibility and their utility for public events both sacred and secular.

Temple of Portunus (formerly known as Fortuna Virilis), travertine, tufa, and stucco, c. 120-80 B.C.E., Rome

The Temple of Portunus is located adjacent to a circular temple of the Corinthian order, now attributed to Herakles Victor. The assignation of the Temple of Portunus has been debated by scholars, with some referring to the temple as belonging to Fortuna Virilis (an aspect of the God Fortuna). This is now a minority view. The festival in honor of Portunus (the Portunalia) was celebrated on 17 August.

Temple attributed to Herakles Victor, Forum Boarium, Rome, late 2nd century B.C.E.

The Temple’s plan and construction

The temple has a rectangular footprint, measuring roughly 10.5 x 19 meters (36 x 62 Roman feet). Its plan may be referred to as pseudoperipteral, instead of a having a free-standing colonnade, or row of columns, on all four sides, the temple instead only has free-standing columns on its facade with engaged columns on its flanks and rear.

Plan, Temple of Portunus (Rome, c. 120-80 B.C.E.)

The pronoas (porch) of the temple supports an Ionic colonnade measuring four columns across by two columns deep, with the columns carved from travertine. The Ionic order can be most easily seen in the scroll-shaped capitals.There are five engaged columns on each side, and four across the back.

Overall the building has a composite structure, with both travertine and tufa being used for the superstructure (tufa is a type of stone consisting of consolidated volcanic ash, and travertine is a form of limestone). A stucco coating would have been applied to the tufa, giving it an appearance closer to that of the travertine.

Engaged columns, Temple of Portunus (formerly known as Fortuna Virilis), travertine, tufa, and stucco, c. 120-80 B.C.E., Rome

The temple’s design incorporates elements from several architectural traditions. From the Italic tradition it takes its high podium (one ascends stairs to enter the pronaos), and strong frontality. From Hellenistic architecture comes the Ionic order columns, the engaged pilasters and columns. The use of permanent building materials, stone (as opposed to the Italic custom of superstructures in wood, terracotta, and mudbrick), also reflects changing practices. The temple itself represents the changing realities and shifting cultural landscape of the Mediterranean world at the close of the first millennium B.C.E.

The temple of Portunus resides on the Forum Boarium, a public space that was the site of the primary harbor of Rome. While the temple of Portunus is a bit smaller than other temples in the Forum Boarium and the adjacent Forum Holitorium, it fits into a general typology of Late Republican temple building.

Temple of the Sibyl, Tivoli, c. 150-125 B.C.E. (photo: LPLT)

The temple of Portunus finds perhaps its closest contemporary parallel in the Temple of the Sibyl at Tibur (modern Tivoli) which dates c. 150-125 B.C.E. The temple type embodied by the Temple of Portunus may also be found in Iulio-Claudian temple buildings such as the Maison Carrée at Nîmes in southern France.

Preservation and current state

Andrea Palladio, Temple of Fortuna Virilis, engraving from The Four Books of Architecture, London, Isaac Ware, 1738

The Temple of Portunus is obviously in an excellent state of preservation. In 872 C.E. the ancient temple was re-dedicated as a Christian shrine sacred to Santa Maria Egyziaca (Saint Mary of Egypt), leading to the preservation of the structure. The architecture has inspired many artists and architects over the centuries, including Andrea Palladio who studied the structure in the sixteenth century.

Neo-Classical architects were inspired by the form of the Temple of Portunus and it led to the construction of the Temple of Harmony, a folly in Somerset, England, dating to 1767 (below).

The Temple of Portunus is important not only for its well preserved architecture and the inspiration that architecture has fostered, but also as a reminder of what the built landscape of Rome was once like – dotted with temples large and small that became foci of a great deal of activity in the life of the city. Those temples that survive are reminders of that vibrancy as well as of the architectural traditions of the Romans themselves.

The Temple of Harmony, 1767, Halswell House, Somserset, England


The Temple of Portunus was put on the World Monuments Watch list in 2006. Overseen by the World Monuments Fund, this list highlights “cultural heritage sites around the world that are at risk from the forces of nature or the impact of social, political, and economic change,” providing them with “an opportunity to attract visibility, raise public awareness, foster local engagement in their protection, leverage new resources for conservation, advance innovation, and demonstrate effective solutions.”

Together with the Soprintendenza Archeologica di Roma and grants from private funders, the World Monuments Fund sponsored a restoration of the Temple of Portunus beginning in 2000. The temple had been partially restored and conservation measures put in place in the 1920s, but the activities undertaken in the last two decades utilized the latest technologies to complete a full restoration of the interior and exterior of the building. This included the cleaning and conservation of the frescoes, replacement of the roof (incorporating ancient roof tiles), anti-seismic measures, and the cleaning and restoration of the pediment, columns, and exterior walls. The newly-restored temple opened to the public in 2014.

The Temple of Portunus is one of the best-preserved examples of Roman Republican architecture, and efforts like those of the World Monuments Fund are ensuring that it continues to survive intact.

Backstory by Dr. Naraelle Hohensee

Additional resources:

F. Coarelli, Il Foro Boario dalle origini alla fine della repubblica (Rome: Ed. Quasar, 1988).

R. Delbrueck, Hellenistische bauten in Latium (Strassburg, K.J. Trübner, 1907-12).

E. Fiechter, “Der Ionische Tempel am Ponte Rotto in Rom,” Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archaeologischen Instituts, Römische Abteilung 21 (1906), pp. 220-79.

J. W. Stamper, The Architecture of Roman Temples: The Republic to the Middle Empire (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008).

A. Ziółkowski, The temples of Mid-Republican Rome and their historical and topographical context (Rome: “L’Erma” di Bretschneider, 1992).

TransArtists' fourth i-Portunus webinar - Cultural Heritage

i-Portunus continues to support the mobility of artists, creators and cultural professionals among all countries participating in the Creative Europe Programme. A second pilot project was selected and co-funded by the Creative Europe program and a consortium headed by Goethe-Institut with Institut français and Izolyatsia.

During this webinar with a focus on the current open call for cultural heritage, Oksana Sarzhevskaya-Kravchenko from Izolyatsia will give a presentation about the call and about the practical info around applying. Afterwards there will be a presentation by Elien Doesselaere from FARO, an organisation based in Belgium, working for and with heritage workers within archives, heritage libraries, heritage cells, as well as with organisations that focus on intangible cultural heritage, heritage service providers, and museums. This will be followed by a presentation from an artist or cultural professional who was a beneficiary from the funding scheme in 2019.
Mykhailo Glubokyi from Izolyatsia, Fanny Rolland from Institut français, and Elisa Sjödin from Goethe-Institut will also be there to answer your questions about the application for i-Portunus.

Please note: The webinar will be streamed live on TransArtists Facebook page, and on Izolyatsia Facebook page where the webinar will be simultaneously translated into Russian.

When: Tuesday 6 April 2021 at 10.00 CET

  • 10.00 – 10.05 – Welcome
  • 10.05 – 10.25 – Info on the current open call for Cultural heritage, by Oksana Sarzhevskaya-Kravchenko, Director, Izolyatsia
  • 10.25 – 10.40 –"Intangible cultural heritage: what is it and what's in it for you?" by Elien Doesselaere, FARO
  • 10.40 – 10.55 – Presentation by Maija Rudovska, independent curator, researcher, art critic
  • 10.55 – 11.30 – Q&A

Please use this online form to subscribe to the webinar, and we will send you an email with a link. The deadline for subscription is 5th April at 14.00 CET.

Portunus segnis

P. segnis is a marine nocturnal crab, native to the Western Indian Ocean, from Pakistan westwards to the Arabian Gulf, the east coast of South Africa, Mozambique, Madagascar and Mauritius. It is one of the earliest introductions through t.

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CaptionPortunus segnis adult.
Copyright©Prof. Bella Galil/National Institute of Oceanography/Israel Oceanographic & Limnological Research Israel


Preferred Scientific Name

Other Scientific Names

  • Portunus mauritianus Ward, 1942
  • Portunus pelagicus (Linnaeus, 1758)
  • Portunus trituberculatus

International Common Names

Local Common Names

  • Arab countries: saratan sabih
  • Indian Ocean, Western: blue manna crab blue swimmer crab blue swimming crab flower crab sand crab swimming red crab
  • Kenya: kaa kiukizi mswete
  • Pakistan: googoo tanga kekra

Summary of Invasiveness

P. segnis is a marine nocturnal crab, native to the Western Indian Ocean, from Pakistan westwards to the Arabian Gulf, the east coast of South Africa, Mozambique, Madagascar and Mauritius. It is one of the earliest introductions through the Suez Canal, having been recorded in Port Said, Egypt, in 1898. During the 1920s it was widely recorded in the Levant (Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey), and has recently spread as far west as the Tyrrhenian coast of Italy and the Gulf of Gabes, Tunisia.

The introduction of Erythraean biota into the Mediterranean Sea led to displacement, extirpation (local extinction), and changes to habitat structure, although little is known about the mechanisms of the inter-relationships. The impact of P. segnis on native biota is undetermined but given that it is an omnivorous predator much larger than any of the sea’s native portunid crabs and that as adults they lack any predators, it can be assumed that its impact may be negative and that it has the potential to outcompete local taxa. Global warming is expected to favour the spread of this tropical species. It is commercially important in its native range as well as in the Levant. 

Taxonomic Tree

  • Domain: Eukaryota
  • Kingdom: Metazoa
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Subphylum: Crustacea
  • Class: Malacostraca
  • Subclass: Eumalacostraca
  • Order: Decapoda
  • Family: Portunidae
  • Genus: Portunus
  • Species: Portunus segnis

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

Portunus segnis ( Forskål, 1775 ) was described from material collected near Jeddah, on the Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia, by Petrus Forskål. Forskål died in Arabia and his notes were published posthumously. It is uncertain whether the type specimens reached Denmark, and they are presumed lost. The specific name “segnis” has not been used since Forskål’s description, and was largely subsumed in P. (Portunus) pelagicus ( Linnaeus, 1758 ). P. pelagicus was regarded as widespread throughout the Indo-West Pacific region and was “generally considered a species without any nomenclatural troubles” (Holthuis, 2004). A recent revision of the genus Portunus Weber, 1795, has provided ample morphological, biogeographical and molecular evidence to resurrect P. segnis (Lai et al., 2010). All early records, with the exception of Ward (1942) and Stephenson and Rees (1967) refer to it as Lupa pelagica, Neptunus pelagicus or Portunus pelagicus.


Carapace broad (CW/CL c. 2.2-2.3), surface evenly granular, frequently with a short pubescence between granules. Sinuous mesogastric and arched epibranchial ridges as rows of tubercles and a pair of granular elevations in cardiac region present no other obvious ridges. Nine anterolateral teeth 1 st acutely triangular, larger than those immediately following, 2 nd to 8 th sharp, 9 th very long, projecting laterally. Front may have four teeth except for inner supraorbital teeth median frontal teeth usually low and obtuse or even confluent and indistinct, leaving a wide gap between spiniform lateral median teeths. Posterolateral junction of carapace rounded. Merus of third maxilliped with anterolateral corner rounded, not expanded laterally. Chelipeds relatively slender and elongate, smooth or minutely granular merus usually with three spines on anterior border and a single terminal spine on posterodistal corner manus with proximal and two distal spines on upper face, upper and outer face with five well-developed costae, under surface smooth, inner surface with median low and smooth costa. Ambulatory legs with merus subquadrate, posterodistal border smooth propodus elongate, with smooth posterior border natatorial paddle elongate oval, obtusely angled distally. Penultimate segment of male abdomen longer than broad with evenly converging lateral borders. G1 very long and slender, base with slight basal spur, curved with finely tapering tip and spinules in distal part. Female genital opening located in median part of sternite, elongate with long axis directed anteromesially thickened cuticle along antero- and posterolateral borders (Apel and Spiridonov, 1998).

Largest specimen recorded is an ovigerous female from Rhodes, Greece (187.8 × 84.3 mm) (Corsini Foka et al., 2004).

Lai et al. (2010) describes the differences between the male and female colouring: "males with dark olive green blue carapace with many pale white spots on surface particularly posteriorly and anterolaterally spots do not tend to merge to form reticulating bands, however, such banding if present is typically thinner than in P. pelagicus. Females similar in pattern to male except that tips of chelipeds are red tinged with a brownish red instead of blue tinged with deep rust red”. Corsini Foka et al. (2004) described a freshly deceased female specimen: “carapace and legs show yellow-whitish spots and lines on a reddish-brown background, the dactyls of chelipeds are reddish-brown, the fingers in the second, third and fourth pereiopods are reddish at the edge and light blue on the surface”.


P. segnis is native to the Western Indian Ocean, from Pakistan westwards to the Arabian Gulf, the east coast of Africa, Madagascar and Mauritius and Red Sea (Lai et al. 2010).

It is one of the earliest introductions through the Suez Canal, having been recorded in Port Said, Egypt, already in 1898 (Fox, 1924, as Neptunus pelagicus). During the 1920s it was widely recorded in the Levant (Israel (Fox, 1924), Lebanon (Steinitz, 1929), Syria (Gruvel, 1930), Turkey (Gruvel, 1928)), and has spread as far west as Italy (Ghisotti,1966 Crocetta, 2006) and the Gulf of Gabes, Tunisia (Rabaoui et al., 2015).  

Distribution Table

The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.



Sea Areas

History of Introduction and Spread

It is one of the earliest introductions through the Suez Canal, having been recorded in Port Said, Egypt, already in 1898 (Fox, 1924, as Neptunus pelagicus). According to Fox (1927) it was first seen in numbers in the Canal between 1889 and 1893, although Krukenberg records one specimen from the Bitter Lakes in 1886. In 1898 observations were made at Port Said, and four years later it was common in the port. During the 1920s it was widely recorded in the Levant (Israel (Fox, 1924), Lebanon (Steinitz, 1929), Syria (Gruvel, 1930) and Turkey (Gruvel, 1928)). It has spread as far west as Italy (Ghisotti, 1966 Crocetta, 2006) and the Gulf of Gabes, Tunisia (Rabaoui et al., 2015). It is established in the Mediterranean Sea. 


Introduced toIntroduced fromYearReasonIntroduced byEstablished in wild throughReferencesNotes
Natural reproductionContinuous restocking
Mediterranean and Black Sea Indian Ocean, Western >1869 Aquaculture (pathway cause) Fisheries (pathway cause) Interconnected waterways (pathway cause) Yes Brockerhoff and McLay (2011) Galil (2011) Exact means of dispersal are unknown

Risk of Introduction

P. segnis is an Erythraean invasive already widely spread in the eastern and central Mediterranean Sea. The warming of the Mediterranean waters may facilitate the establishment of populations in the northern and western reaches of the sea. It may be secondarily introduced in ballast tanks to the rapidly warming Lusitanian province and to the western Atlantic (as did the Erythraean invasive portunid Charybdis hellerii ( Milne Edwards, 1867 ) ( Lemaitre, 1995 ).


In its native range the species is found in coastal and brackish waters, over mud and sand, at 0-40 m (Arabian Gulf Carpenter et al., 1997), it enters estuaries and lagoons seasonably (Anam and Mostarda, 2012 Naderloo and Türkay, 2012). In the Mediterranean, the species is found under rocks and in rock pools, on sandy or muddy substrate, intertidal to 55 m, occasionally in estuaries (Holthuis and Gottlieb, 1958 Galil et al., 2002).

Habitat List

Littoral Coastal areas Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Littoral Coastal areas Principal habitat Natural
Littoral Coastal dunes Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Littoral Coastal dunes Principal habitat Natural
Littoral Mangroves Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Littoral Mangroves Principal habitat Natural
Littoral Mud flats Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Littoral Mud flats Principal habitat Natural
Littoral Intertidal zone Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Littoral Intertidal zone Principal habitat Natural
Brackish Estuaries Present, no further details

Biology and Ecology

Lai et al. (2010) investigated the genetics of 45 specimens of P. segnis. P. segnis revealed two co-dominant haplotypes separated from each other by two mutational steps. Haplotype 102 (n=16) was obtained from individuals collected from Mozambique and Madagascar, whereas Haplotype 99 (n=16) is restricted to the Red Sea and Mediterranean Sea.

Inter-specific divergence has been found between P. segnis and the other three species of the P. pelagicus group. Based on total sequence divergence at the COI locus, P. armatus and P. reticulatus form a sister group to P. pelagicus and P. segnis, with an average genetic distance of

7% divergence between P. armatus/P. reticulatus and P. pelagicus/P. segnis.

Reproductive Biology

In the Iranian Gulf and Gulf of Oman ovigerous females occur throughout the year, with the highest proportion in the fall spawning occurs year round with a peak in winter (Kamrani et al. 2010 Safaie et al., 2013a). Interestingly, two regional studies provide different data for fecundity 277,421 -1,114348 eggs, with average fecundity of 662,978 eggs (Kamrani et al., 2010) and 521,027 - 6,656599 eggs, with an average fecundity of 2,397967 (Safaie et al., 2013b). In the Mediterranean the mean number of eggs (fecundity) of 12 ovigerous females (whose mean CW 143.3 ± 6.2 mm) was 777,642 ± 80684 (Rabaoui et al., 2015).

Activity Patterns

It is an active nocturnal predator, buried in daytime, with only its eyes, antennae and gill openings protruding.

Chatterji et al. (1994) noted lunar periodicity in the abundance of P. pelagicus s.l. (possibly P. segnis) in trawl catches along the Goa coast, India, with higher catches during the full moon and the new moon.

P. segnis is an omniverous predator. According to studies of stomach contents, juvenile crabs (<90 mm CW) prefer crustaceans (48.6%) to molluscs (21.5%) and fish (17.5 %), adults (CW 111-150 mm) shift their diet to a higher proportion of fish (26.7%), though crustaceans and molluscs remain principal components (40.5%, 24.5%, respectively), and the largest adults (CW 151-170 mm) consume more fish (29.4%), and reduce the proportions of crustaceans and molluscs (37.5%, 21.6%, respectively) ( Hosseini et al 2014 ). These results are similar to those obtained by Pazooki et al. (2012).


Chelonibia patula ( Ranzani 1820 ), a cosmopolitan epizoon, was collected from P. segnis in the Levant (Israel, Turkey) (Pasternak et al., 2002 Ozcan, 2012).

Environmental Requirements

P. segnis is tolerant of a wide ranger of temperatures from 13.5°C (winter, Livorno, Italy) to 30°C (summer, SE Levant). It is euryhaline (adapts to a wide range of salinities), moving between brackish estuaries to marine and even hypersaline waters (the Bitter Lakes, suez Canal, fide Krukenberg, 1888). 


Compliance with the law is the basic principle underlying the Portunus’policies. All personnel are expected to respect and comply with laws and regulations. We want to be a good corporate citizen in each jurisdiction we operate in. We value transparency and business integrity and recognize that economic, environmental and social performance together form the basis for endorsing sustainability in our business operations. Portunus supports the protection of human rights, freedom of association, elimination of forced labor, abolition of child labor, elimination of discrimination in the field of labor and sustainable development.

II ) Business Conduct

Conflicts of interest A conflict of interest exists when a person’s private interest is in conflict with the interests of the Company. Portunus’ personnel and Board members are expected to act in the company’s best interests. Consequently, each employee must prevent conflicts of interest situations by avoiding permanent financial interest with a competitor, client or supplier of the company outside of its professional activities. The establishment of business relationships must be based on objective criteria. Therefore, no gift, payment or other benefit should be received by an employee and an officer from a competitor, client or supplier of the company.

Insider management Any non-public information should be kept in strict confidence until publicly released by authorized persons. To use non-public information for personal financial benefit or to share them with others who might make an investment decision on the basis of this information is not only contrary to the company’s rules of conduct but also illegal. Insider trading and use of inside information is regulated by insider legislation and monitored by financial supervision authorities. Portunus expects all persons possessing and dealing with inside information to follow the rules mentioned in Portunus Insider Regulations.Insider management Any non-public information should be kept in strict confidence until publicly released by authorized persons. To use non-public information for personal financial benefit or to share them with others who might make an investment decision on the basis of this information is not only contrary to the company’s rules of conduct but also illegal. Insider trading and use of inside information is regulated by insider legislation and monitored by financial supervision authorities. Portunus expects all persons possessing and dealing with inside information to follow the rules mentioned in Portunus Insider Regulations.

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We choose our suppliers with care and on the basis of objective factors such as quality, reliability, delivery and price, without preference for personal reasons. Suppliers are expected to conduct their business in compliance with international human rights and environmental laws and practices. Further, in their actions and operations suppliers and sub-contractors are expected to follow national laws of the countries they operate in. We promote the application of this Code of Conduct among our suppliers and endeavour to monitor their actions in this respect.

V ) Work environment

To ensure the health and safety of its personnel is a company priority. All personnel are entitled to work in a safe and healthy environment and are expected to participate in such efforts by acting in a responsible manner. Each personnel must perform their duties consistently with the heath and safety rules applicable at the workplace and participate in such training programs that may be organized from time to time. We also endeavor to minimize health and safety risks related to the use of our products and services by developing innovative systems and methods.

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VII ) Implementation

The purpose of this Code of Conduct is to set principles for Portunus’ way of working. We expect all our personnel to comply with the standards set in the Code. Portunus promotes the Code’s implementation through training and performance programs organized in relation to these topics.

Members of personnel should contact their manager with any questions or seek advice from the Corporate Compliance Officer or other relevant corporate offi cers. There will be no adverse work- or career-related consequences as a result of a member of personnel reporting possible violations. Portunus will take disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment, against members of personnel who violate the law and regulations, this Code of Conduct, or other Portunus policies.

[History, description and application of the AMDP system and its derivative systems (AGP, FPDS)]

The AMP-System was born in Nurnberg in 1960 the XXth anniversary of its French adaptation was celebrated in Strasburg in October 1986: from Nurnberg to Strasburg, the european vocation of the AMDP-System has steadily grown. The AMDP-System is made of two parts: a part on history data (AMDP-1 to -3) and a part on the present psychiatric and somatic state (AMDP-4 and -5). The Psychopathology Scale contains 100 items + 15 "French" items (mainly on anxiety) the somatic scale, 40 + 7 items, all graded from 0 to 4 the interview and completion of the two scales takes ca. 45 to 60 mn. The reliability, validity, sensitivity and factorial reproducibility of these scales have been demonstrated in French as well as in German. The french-speaking section of the AMDP has definitely contributed to the improvement of the original System: semi-structured interview, anxiety factor vs. scale, syndromic scale etc. There presently exist two Systems derived from the AMDP: one for gerontopsychiatry (the AGP System) and one for forensic psychiatry (the FPDS System).

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