Danube crayfish

Astacus leptodactylus

Common name:

Danube crayfish

Scientific name:

Astacus leptodactylus

Alternative common names:

Galician crayfish; Turkish crayfish; narrow-clawed crayfish.

Typical crayfish body form with telson (tail) and pincers. The body colouration is usually pale yellow to pale green in colour and the sides of the thorax are very rough. This crayfish averages 15cm in length, but may reach 30cm long. This crayfish is invasive in lakes in Europe and may negatively affect South African wetland systems.

Additional Info

  • Where does this species come from?

    Caspian Sea.

    What is its invasive status in South Africa?

    NEMBA Category 1a.

    Where in South Africa is it a problem?

    Not yet known to occur in South African waters.

    How does it spread?

    Through waterways.

    Why is it a problem?

    This crayfish is invasive in lakes in Europe and may negatively affect South African wetland systems.

    What does it look like?

    Description: Typical crayfish body form with telson (tail) and pincers. The body colouration is usually pale yellow to pale green in colour and the sides of the thorax are very rough. This crayfish averages 15cm in length, but may reach 30cm long. Habitat: Lakes and freshwater dams. Breeding: Mating in Europe begins in the middle of December and eggs were observed in the middle of January. Female crayfish carry the eggs in specialised flaps on the abdomen and embryonic development lasts between 4-5 months. Larvae emerge when water temperatures are higher during summer.