Astacus astacus

30. April 2009

The Noble or River cray, Astacus astacus, is sadly in danger of extinction in central Europe. The reason for this are the extreme destruction of the natural habitats in combination with the introduction of a Northamerican species between 1860 and 1870. This species, the so-called Camber cray (Orconectes limosus) was infested with a disease. This fungus does no harm to the Camber cray at all, but kills all European species. The disease was called the crayfish pestilence. Later, another Northamerican species (Procambarus clarkii) was introduced in southern Europe and brought the crayfish pestilence in the remaining territory of the native European species. Both Camber cray and Procambarus clarkii were introduced as food sources.

We can offer Noble crays from special, disease free breeding farms for pond and aquarium keeping. The small underwater knights are omnivorous, but the main part of their natural diet forms dead plant material. So dead leaves from oak, beech and so on should be available for the animals the whole time through. It is esssential that the water temperature never gets higher than 18°C.

Males and females can easily be distinguished from each other. Only the males have a special pair of legs, the so-called gonopdes, which serve as genitals. The gonopodes reach in between the last pair of walking legs. In females there is simply nothing between the swimming legs (pleopods) and the walking legs. After mating the females carry the eggs between the pleopods until they hatch.

Text & Photos: Frank Schäfer

Angaben zum Tier
Herkunft Deutschland / Germany
Verfügbare Größe in cm 8-10