Thursday, August 14, 2008
Freedom Of Association
The Telegraph is reporting that hundreds of invasive crayfish have been found dead in the UK...but that's not a good thing. The Turkish crayfish (Astacus leptodactylus) is an Eastern European species that has been introduced to the UK, one of at least four non-native crayfish in UK waters. The recent deaths of the Turkish crustacean have been attributed to a disease called "crayfish plague" caused by the fungus Aphanomyces astaci. Scientists are worried that this fungal pathogen could spread to the UK's one native species, the white-clawed crayfish (Austropotamobius pallipes). The invasive Marmorkrebs crayfish also carry the disease. Unfortunately, the North American signal crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus) appears to be immune.
Labels: crayfish, crustaceans, fungi, pathogens, UK
Not only Pacifastacus but all North American crayfish, so far as has been determined, are resistant carriers of Aphanomyces astaci. The one species of crayfish permitted for the U.K. aquarium trade, Cherax quadricarinatus, is susceptible.
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