Astacus leptodactylus Eschscholtz, 1823

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English Danube crayfish Status LU: casual (?). 1st record: 1999.
Lëtzebuergesch Europäesche Suppekriibs Status Eur.: established.
Français Ecrevisse turque RA: ISEIA: C1. Harmonia+: n/a.
Deutsch Galizischer Sumpfkrebs Wikipedia: Wikipedia - English - Danube crayfish Wikipedia - Français - Ecrevisse turque Wikipedia - Deutsch - Galizischer Sumpfkrebs | Wikispecies: n/a (2020) | CABI
Nederlands n/a Back to the list of invertebrates

Report the species

Report Astacus leptodactylus to the National Museum of Natural History.

Brief description

Blue crayfish boiledAstacus leptodactylus Eschscholtz, 1823 is a large Eastern European river crayfish. The Galician crayfish grows to a size of 16 to 18 cm, in extreme cases up to 25 cm. The basic colouration is usually light sand-coloured to light brown. It is slimmer than the Noble crayfish and its most conspicuous distinguishing features are the two extremely long, scissor-like claws (Wikipedia contributors 2019).

The crayfish prefers warm, nutrient-rich waters of the lowland or running waters with a slow current. It also lives in very muddy waters (swamp crayfish). If suitable embankments are available, it digs residential caves itself. It has a higher resistance against pollution than the Noble crayfish (Wikipedia contributors 2019).

Originally, the crayfish was resident in the catchment area of the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. After the crab plague occurred, it was used in some waters of Central Europe, as it was thought that this species was resistant to the crab plague. All current occurrences in Central Europe are based on these stocking measures (Wikipedia contributors 2019).

Status and distribution in Luxembourg

Records of Astacus leptodactylus Eschscholtz, 1823 in Luxembourg. Data source: Recorder-Lux, iNaturalist & GBIF, 2024-05-22.

Astacus leptodactylus Eschscholtz, 1823 was first documented by Yoichi Machino in 1999 in ponds in the valley of the Rouderbaach creek (Grevenmacher) (MNHNL 2000-). Another documented occurence near the Belgium border north-west of Doncols might in reality be located in Belgium since the indicated GPS-precision is only 700 m and all other data from 1995 and 1996 are located in Belgium.

Risk assessment

ISEIA protocol

C1 (1+1+1+1) (Ries et al. 2017: 68).

Harmonia+ protocol

Not assessed yet.

Worldwide distribution


  • CABI, 2019. Astacus leptodactylus. In: Invasive Species Compendium. Wallingford, UK: CAB International. URL: [accessed 2020-03-04]
  • MNHNL, 2000-. Astacus leptodactylus Eschscholtz, 1823 in Recorder-Lux, database on the natural heritage of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Musée national d’histoire naturelle, Luxembourg. URL: [Accessed 2019-10-24]
  • MNHNL, iNaturalist & GBIF, 2019. Astacus leptodactylus Eschscholtz, 1823 in MNHNL-mdata, online portal combining species observation from Recorder-Lux, iNaturalist and GBIF. National Museum of Natural History, Luxembourg. URL: [Accessed 2019-10-24]
  • Ries, C., A. Arendt, C. Braunert, S. Christian, A. Dohet, A. Frantz, G. Geimer, M. Hellers, J. A. Massard, X. Mestdagh, R. Proess, N. Schneider & M. Pfeiffenschneider, 2017. Environmental impact assessment and black, watch and alert list classification after the ISEIA Protocol of invertebrates in Luxembourg. Bull. Soc. Nat. luxemb. 119: 63-70. [PDF 360 KB]
  • Wikipedia contributors, 2019. Astacus leptodactylus Eschscholtz, 1823 in Wikipedia, Die freie Enzyklopädie. URL: [accessed 24. October 2019]

 Page content last updated on 2023-01-22. Last proofread by Caroline Grounds on 2019-12-05.