Echinogammarus berilloni Catta, 1878

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English   Status LU: established. 1st record: 1962, ITW 1962.
Lëtzebuergesch   Status Eur.: established. 1st record: native to the Iberian Peninsula.
Français   RA: ISEIA: n/a Harmonia+: n/a
Deutsch Igelflohkrebs   Wikipedia: | Wikispecies: Wikispecies | CABI
Nederlands   Back to the list of neozoa

Report the species

Report Echinogammarus berilloni to the National Museum of Natural History.

Brief description

Native to the south-western Mediterranean basin, from northern Spain to south-western France (Basque country, Midi-Pyrénées), Echinogammarus berilloni Catta, 1878 has been observed for the first time in France in the mountains of the Basses-Pyrénées. By crossing the Pyrenees, the animal was able to reach the Loire, the Paris Basin and invaded most French rivers. French canals enabled the species to spread throughout Europe during the first half of the 20th century. From the Paris Basin, the animal spread to the tributaries of the Eseaut and the Meuse, and thus succeeded in colonising Belgium and the south of the Netherlands. The canal from the Marne to the Rhine gave it access to the north-east, the Moselle, the Saar and the Upper Rhine. This species, which grows to a size of 2 cm, lives in the middle and lower reaches of streams and rivers. It lives among vegetation and under rock and is euryhaline. It is also tolerant of high temperatures and organic pollution. E. berilloni shows a strong preference for vegetation and leaf litter as substratum when existing in single-species populations (Dhur & Massard 1995, Mayer et al. 2011, ONEMA 2015).

Status and distribution in Luxembourg

Records of Echinogammarus berilloni Catta, 1878 in Luxembourg. Data source: Recorder-Lux, iNaturalist & GBIF, 2024-04-17.

A fairly massive presence of Echinogammarus berilloni Catta, 1878 was reported in the region of the estuary of the river Sûre (Wasserbillig) and the middle and lower Moselle in 1962/1963. Upstream of the estuary of the Sûre, the species became rare. Between the early 1960s and the 1980s, various studies found that the species no longer existed in the Moselle upstream of Wasserbillig. It was assumed that the species became extinct after the Moselle was canalised, probably as a result of a dissolved oxygen caused by the reduction in the speed of the current velocity. It has to be clarified whether the more recent observation of the species in the Moselle in 2006 was an isolated event or contradicts the above-mentioned theory. In the Sûre and its tributaries, the species has persisted and recent sightings (2018, 2023) have been documented (Dhur & Massard 1995, MNHNL, 2000-).

Risk assessment

ISEIA protocol

Not assessed yet.

Harmonia+ protocol

Not assessed yet.

Worldwide distribution



  • Dhur, G. et J.A. Massard, 1995. Etude historique et faunistique des Invertébrés immigrés ou introduits dans la Moselle luxembourgeoise et ses affluents. Bulletin de la Société des naturalistes luxembourgeois 96: 127-156. [PDF 1896 KB]
  • Mayer, G., A. Maas & D. Waloszek, 2011. Mouthpart Morphology of Three Sympatric Native and Nonnative Gammaridean Species: Gammarus pulex, G. fossarum, and Echinogammarus berilloni (Crustacea: Amphipoda), International Journal of Zoology, Volume 2012, Article ID 493420, 23 pp.
  • MNHNL, 2000-. Recorder-Lux, database on the natural heritage of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. National Museum of Natural History, Luxembourg. Echinogammarus berilloni (Catta, 1878) observed on 2023-10-17, occurrence ID DSS0043900002A6J, via [accessed 2023-10-20].
  • ONEMA, 2015. Recueil de fiches d’identification, Espèces exotiques envahissantes des milieux aquatiques et associés en France métropolitaine, 168 pp.

 Page content last updated on 2023-12-14. Last proofread by Caroline Grounds on 2023-10-26.