Potential impacts of alien freshwater crayfish in South Africa

  • I de Moor Research Associate, South African Institute of Aquatic Biodiversity, Private Bag 1015, Grahamstown 6140, South Africa (formerly the JLB Smith Institute of Ichthyology)


The habitat preferences and life history characteristics of four alien species of freshwater crayfish (Cherax tenuimanus, C. destructor, C. quadricarinatus and Procambarus clarkii) are reviewed. The potential impact of these species on South African freshwater ecosystems is assessed and the desirability of allowing their importation evaluated. On the basis of principles espoused in the European Inland Fisheries Advisory Council's Code of Practice on Aquatic Introductions, it is recommended that importation permits should not be granted for any of these species.

Keywords: freshwater crayfish; marron,; redclaw; red swamp crayfish; yabby; Cherax tenuimanus; C. quadricarinatus; C. destructor; C. albidus; C. esculus; Procambarus clarkii, introductions; alien species; Code of Practice on Aquatic Introductions; South Africa

(Afr J Aqua Sci: 2002 27(2): 125-139)

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1727-9364
print ISSN: 1608-5914