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Turkish Crayfish, Astacus leptodactylus


Short description of Astacus leptodactylus, Turkish Crayfish

Adults are usually about 15cm long, but can reach up to 30cm in length. They have long, narrow claws that are rough on the upper surface, ridges behind the eye sockets and a long rostrum with parallel sides. They vary in colour from a pale sandy yellow or pale green to dark green or occasionally blue. Paler individuals may appear mottled. Leg joints are often orange.

Description of Astacus leptodactylus, Turkish Crayfish status in GB

Well established in southeast England including the River Colne and River Thames catchments and lakes and reservoirs in London. Isolated populations are established at other sites in England and Wales including rivers in Leicestershire, and brackish habitat at the River Waveney in Norfolk. Not yet found in Scotland or Northern Ireland.

Habitat summary: Astacus leptodactylus, Turkish Crayfish

Turkish crayfish are found in lakes, ponds and rivers in their native range and tend to prefer still water. They have occupied lake, reservoir and river sites in GB, including brackish water in the lower tidal reaches of a river in East Anglia.

Overview table

Environment: Freshwater
Species status: Non-Native
Native range: Eastern Europe, Western Asia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Belarus, Greece, Croatia, Hungary, Israel, Iran, Kirgizistan, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Romania, Russia Central, Russia East, Russia North, Russia Northwest, Russia South, Slovakia, Turkey, Turkey-in-Europe, Georgia, Serbia
Functional type: Omnivore
Status in England: Non-Native
Status in Wales: Non-Native
Date of first record: 1975

Distribution map

Map of the UK with areas shaded to show the UK distribution of Turkish Crayfish

GB Distribution from NBN Atlas

Author's name:

David Aldridge

Last updated:

September 23rd 2016

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