An overview of recent introductions of non-native crayfish (Crustacea, Decapoda) into inland water systems in Israel

Zohar Yanai, Tamar Guy-Haim, Oren Kolodny, Ya’Arit Levitt-Barmats, Aiman Mazal, Arseniy R. Morov, Amir Sagi, Noa Truskanov, Dana Milstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-208
Number of pages14
JournalBioInvasions Records
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2024


  • aquarium release
  • Cherax quadricarinatus
  • invasive species
  • Levant
  • Procambarus clarkii
  • Procambarus virginalis

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology


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