08 April 2024

Yanai and colleagues 2024

BioInvasion Records cover
Yanai Z, Guy-Haim T, Kolodny O, Levitt-Barmats Ya, Mazal A, Morov AR, Sagi A, Truskanov N, Milstein D. 2024. An overview of recent introductions of non-native crayfish (Crustacea, Decapoda) into inland water systems in Israel. BioInvasions Records 13(1): 195-208. https://doi.org/10.3391/bir.2024.13.1.17


Crayfish are known to effectively invade freshwater systems worldwide. Whilst no native crayfish species exist in Israel, three exotic species have been documented in recent years, and their introduction details are hereby discussed. Three of these introduction events, one of each species, were previously reported; one was established, one failed to establish, and the third was successfully eradicated. However, more recently, invasive crayfish have been independently detected multiple times, involving a variety of natural and artificial habitats. Altogether, three invasive crayfish species currently inhabit Israeli freshwaters: Cherax quadricarinatus, Procambarus clarkii, and Procambarus virginalis. They were found in fourteen independent cases, and at least five of them represent established populations. Similar to other crayfish invasions around the globe, we speculate that the invasive populations in Israel result from the intentional release of aquarium inhabitants, as well as from aquaculture escapees. The import and trade policy of aquatic organisms in Israel requires thorough revision to prevent future invasions. Thought should also be given to the prevention of the spread of the existing invasive populations as well as to their eradication, if possible.

KeywordsCherax quadricarinatusProcambarus clarkiiProcambarus virginalis • aquarium release • invasive species • Levant

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