Aphanomyces astaci Schikora, 1906

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English Crayfish plague Status LU: unknown, 1st record LU 1880, ITW: 1880
Lëtzebuergesch Kriibspescht Status Eur.: established, 1st record 1859 (Italy)
Français Peste de l’écrevisse RA: ISEIA: n/a Harmonia+: n/a
Deutsch Krebspest Wikipedia: Wikipedia - English | Wikispecies: Wikispecies | CABI
Nederlands Rivierkreeftenplaag Back to the list of neomyceta

Report the species

Report Aphanomyces astaci to the National Museum of Natural History.

Brief description

Aphanomyces astaci Schikora, 1906 is a water mold that infects freshwater crayfish. It is the cause of crayfish plague that can provoke the death of the infected individuals. Transport of signal crayfish, red swamp crayfish and infected native European freshwater crayfish between waters is the main cause of contamination, though the disease can also be spread via items that have been in contact with contaminated water, such as a fishing tackle or footwear. The spores are sensitive to high or low temperatures.

The natural range of A. astaci is likely to be North America. It has been found in North American crayfish sampled in North America. Any occurrence of A. astaci outside of North America is currently considered as an exotic appearance of the pathogen. Crayfish plague first arrived in Europe in Italy in 1859, either with imported crayfish from North America or in ballast water discharge. After its original introduction in Italy, it spread quickly through Europe and was discovered for example in France in 1874, in Germany in 1877, in Luxembourg and Belgium around 1880, in Sweden in 1907, in Spain in 1972, in Great Britain in 1981 and in Ireland in 1987.(CABI 2022, Wikipedia contributors 2022).

Status and distribution in Luxembourg

Records of Aphanomyces astaci Schikora, 1906 in Luxembourg. Data source: Recorder-Lux, iNaturalist & GBIF, 2024-06-25.

There is no recent distribution data concerning Aphanomyces astaci Schikora, 1906 in Luxembourg.

Risk assessment

ISEIA protocol

Not assessed yet.

Harmonia+ protocol

Not assessed yet.

Worldwide distribution


  • CABI, 2022. Aphanomyces astaci. In: Invasive Species Compendium. Wallingford, UK: CAB International. URL: www.cabi.org/isc [accessed 2022-11-14]
  • Wikipedia contributors, 2022. ‘Crayfish plague’, Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 27 September 2019, 08:25 UTC, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crayfish_plague> [accessed 2022-11-14]

 Page content last updated on 2023-09-27.