21 May 2019

“Step away from the aquarium...”

On this blog, I am frequently reporting new reports of Marmorkrebs as invaders, so it’s nice when Marmorkrebs are not bad news.

A news article in Ireland reports that a pet owner voluntary gave up Marmorkrebs kept in tanks to parks officials. In looking at the pet crayfish trade, one of my biggest concerns is the level of enforcement. It’s important for people not only to know that laws about the pet trade exist, but that they are people who genuinely do enforce those laws.

Unfortunately, this good piece of news is outweighed by two pieces of bad news. First is another outbreak of crayfish plague in Ireland.

The second is that there is a non-native crayfish population of Australian yabbies (Cherax destructor) in Ireland, the first time any non-native crayfish has gotten a toehold in the island. In a previous paper, I didn’t find anyone selling C. destructor as pets (Faulkes 2017). Several unidentified species sold as pets were described as “blue,” which fits C. destructor well. So it’s possible they were someone’s pets.


Faulkes Z. 2017. Slipping past the barricades: the illegal trade of pet crayfish in Ireland. Biology and Environment: Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 117(1): 15-23. https://doi.org/10.3318/BIOE.2017.02

External links

Warning issued over 'severe and increasing' threat to native crayfish species
Invasive species and diseases threat to native crayfish

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