06 November 2020

Marmorkrebs’ second Asian invasion

Map showing location of Taiwan island in Asia

Mere days after Marmorkrebs made international news by invading a cemetery in Belgium, they appear set to take over a park in Taiwan Island. 


This is only the third time Marmorkrebs have been reported in Asia, and this seems to be the most substantial population so far. Previous discoveries of Marmorkrebs in Japan consisted of only single individuals.


There are more individuals in this one bucket fron Daan Forest Park than have been discovered in all of Japan.


Perhaps the one piece of good news is that it sounds like these are isolated, managed park ponds. If authorities want to get serious, they might be able to remove all of them (emphasis added):


Wang Shu-ya, director of the Youth Park Management Office said that park staff have been cooperating with the Friends of Da’an Park Foundation to trap the crayfish. Wang said that the situation has improved slightly, however, they have not ruled out the possibility of draining the ponds in the future to completely remove the pests.

One interesting trend I am starting to notice in news coverage is the use of the term “mutant.” Strictly speaking, yes, Marmorkrebs are mutants. But many other similar organisms are not described that way. 


An all-female species of whiptail lizards are not called “mutants.” 


Amazon mollies, reasonably popular aquarium fish, are all female and have even weirder reproduction than Marmorkrebs (sperm stealing?!) and they aren’t called “mutants.” 


What is it about Marmorkrebs that leads people to describe them this way?

The main news article is quite good, although I am surprised it uses the old species name and not Procambarus virginalis, which has been widely adopted by the community.


I have updated the map of Marmorkrebs introductions.


External links


Mutant invasive crayfish found infesting ponds in Taipei City park


Daan Forest Park crisis! Invasion of exotic species "Marbled crayfish"  (Video in Chinese; title loosely translated)

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