white-clawed crayfish

Scientific name Austropotamobius pallipes
Descriptor Lereboullet
Year of description 1858
IUCN category (World) EN
Family Astacidae
Genus Austropotamobius
Austropotamobius pallipes Austropotamobius pallipes


Austropotamobius pallipes, commonly known as white-clawed crayfish, is a fresh water crustacea from the Europe.

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Who is it?


  • Average size
    10 cm
  • Maximum size
    13 cm
  • Longevity
    10 year
  • Mimicry
  • Average size
    10 cm
  • Maximum size
    13 cm
  • Longevity
    10 year
  • Mimicry

How to recognize the white-clawed crayfish ?

The white-clawed crayfish measures between 10 and 13 cm. this crustacea is unicolore with a predominantly marron body.

Behaviour & Life cycle

  • Sociability
  • territorial
  • Venomous
  • Way of living

Like all crustaceans, The white-clawed crayfish molts whenever it becomes cramped in its shell. Before the hardening of its new body, it is more vulnerable and spends a good part of its time hidden. This mechanism, very complex, allows the periodic renewal of the exoskeleton and part of the internal skeleton. It is also during the moult that the females become fertile.

The white-clawed crayfish is a crustacea solitary naturally found on the bottom. This species is omnivorous with carnivorous tendency . this crustacea lives mainly at night. Usually, it leaves its hiding place and starts to be active once it gets dark.

Although the white-clawed crayfish is non-territorial, it is sometimes aggressive towards other species.


  • Reproduction

The white-clawed crayfish is a crustacea ovipare. It is an exclusively freshwater species, the whole reproduction process takes place in fresh water. This species follows a mode of reproduction called "direct development". After several weeks of incubation, the female gives birth to fully formed juveniles ready to fend for themselves.

Harmless species

This species does not represent any particular threats to humans when encountered in its natural environment.

Where to find it?

Where to see this species?

What is its habitat?

Natural environment characteristics

  • Temperature
    5 - 21 °C
  • pH (acidity)
    7 - 8
  • gh (hardness)
    3 - 15
  • Flow
    Medium and Slow

Biotope presentation

The white-clawed crayfish is most often found at a depth between 0m and 2m. However, it is not impossible to find this species at other depths. This animal evolves in areas characterized by a strong presence of vegetation (aquatic and marsh plants, decaying organic matter, roots...).

This species lives near large roots, in which it can find refuge in case of danger. This type of habitat is often found not far from the banks.

This species lives in decaying vegetation (branches, leaves) in low current areas.

Species of the same biotope

To go further

To read on the web

Sources & Contributions

Participation & Validation

The Fishipedia team and specialist contributors are committed to providing high-quality content. However, although the information comes from scientific sources or testimonials from specialists, the cards may contain inaccuracies.

Adrien Falzon

Adrien Falzon

Benoit Chartrer

Benoit Chartrer


Translation done with the valuable contribution of our translators, who make this information available to a wider audience. We sincerely thank them for their commitment.

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Scientific partners

Species of the same biotope

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