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Adult Marmorkrebs

What are Marmorkrebs?

“Marmorkrebs” is an informal name given to marbled crayfish that were discovered by hobbyists in Germany in the late 1990s. “Marmorkrebs” roughly translates from German as “marbled crab.” The scientific name for Marmorkrebs is Procambarus virginalis (previously Procambarus fallax f. virginalis). They are an asexual relative of slough crayfish (Procambarus fallax) that live across Florida and southern Georgia in the United States. There are no known native populations of Marmorkrebs in North America; the only known cases of them in the wild are where they have been introduced by humans.

Marmorkrebs are parthenogenetic: they are all females, and reproduce without sex. This is the only decapod crustacean found that reproduces only this way, giving it incredible potential as a model organism for research. Some of the advantages of Marmorkrebs are that they are genetically identical, reproduce at high rates, and are easy to care for.

Marmorkrebs are also an invasive species. They have been introducted in many places, and have established populations in at least many countries, damaging agriculture and threatening native species. Marmorkrebs should not be used for bait (see here), kept in outdoor tanks or ponds (Marmorkrebs can migrate over land; see here), or placed in any other situation where they could be released into natural ecosystems. In North America, Marmorkrebs are prohibited in Missouri (since 2011) and Tennessee (since 2015). The European Union banned possession, trade, transport, production, and release of Marmorkrebs (and several other crayfish species) in 2016.


Marmorkrebs introductions


View Marmorkrebs introductions in a larger map

Timeline


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Marmorkrebs blog. Award-winning science writing!

 


Research

Genome

The portal for the complete Marmorkrebs genome is at http://marmorkrebs.dkfz.de/.

Colonies and stocks

NSF logo

North American researchers can contact Zen Faulkes to get Marmorkrebs for research. Establishment of the UTRGV Marmorkrebs colony was supported by the National Science Foundation (award 0813581).

Cover gallery

Naturwissenschaften_cover (17K) dev_genes_evo_cover (18K) Int J Cancer cover (4K) Tissue and Cell cover (8K) J Morphology 262(2) (3K) Environmental Epigenetics cover Biologie in unserer Zeit cover

Research papers

For a more comprehensive list of research papers, click here.

Forthcoming

NewOpen Access DeLeon H III, Garcia J Jr., Silva DC, Quintanilla O, Faulkes Z, Thomas JM III. Culturing embryonic cells from the parthenogenetic clonal marble crayfish Marmorkrebs Procambarus virginalis Lyko, 2017 (Decapoda: Astacidea: Cambaridae). Journal of Crustacean Biology: in press. https://doi.org/10.1093/jcbiol/ruz063

Hossain MS, Guo W, Martens A, Adámek Z, Kouba A, Buric M. Potential of marbled crayfish Procambarus virginalis to supplant invasive Faxonius immunis. Aquatic Ecology: in press. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10452-019-09725-0

2019 research papers

Anastácio PM, Ribeiro F, Capinha C, Banha F, Gama M, Filipe AF, Rebelo R, Sousa R. 2019. Non-native freshwater fauna in Portugal: A review. Science of The Total Environment 650: 1923-1934. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.09.251

NewOpen Access Ercoli F, Kaldre K, Paaver T, Gross R. 2019. First record of an established marbled crayfish Procambarus virginalis (Lyko, 2017) population in Estonia. BioInvasions Records 8(3): 675-683. https://doi.org/10.3391/bir.2019.8.3.25

Fořt M, Hossain MS, Kouba A, Buřič M, Kozák P. 2019. Agonistic interactions and dominance establishment in three crayfish species non-native to Europe. Limnologica 74: 73-79. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.limno.2018.11.003

Gatzmann F. 2019. DNA methylation in the marbled crayfish Procambarus virginalis. Doctoral dissertation, The Faculty of Bio Sciences, Heidelburg University. https://doi.org/10.11588/heidok.00026426 (Note: Access restricted until 17 January 2020.)

Open Access Guo W, Kubec J, Veselý L, Hossain MS, Buric M, McClain R, Kouba A. 2019. High air humidity is sufficient for successful egg incubation and early post-embryonic development in the marbled crayfish (Procambarus virginalis). Freshwater Biology 64(9): 1603-1612. https://doi.org/10.1111/fwb.13357

Haubrock PJ, Kubec J, Veselý L, Buric M, Tricarico E, Kouba A. 2019. Water temperature as a hindrance, but not limiting factor for the survival of warm water invasive crayfish introduced in cold periods. Journal of Great Lakes Research 45(4): 788-794. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jglr.2019.05.006

New Hossain MS, Kouba A, Buric M. 2019. Morphometry, size at maturity, and fecundity of marbled crayfish (Procambarus virginalis). Zoologischer Anzeiger 281: 68-75. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcz.2019.06.005

Hossain MS, Kubec J, Grabicová K, Grabic R, Randák T, Guo W, Kouba A, Buric M. 2019. Environmentally relevant concentrations of methamphetamine and sertraline modify the behavior and life history traits of an aquatic invertebrate. Aquatic Toxicology 213: 105222. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aquatox.2019.105222

Hossain MS, Kubec J, Kouba A, Kozák P, Buric M. 2019. Still waters run deep: marbled crayfish dominates over red swamp crayfish in agonistic interactions. Aquatic Ecology 53(1): 97-107. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10452-019-09675-7

Open Access Kubec J, Hossain MS, Grabicová K, Randák T, Kouba A, Grabic R, Roje S, Buric M. 2019. Oxazepam alters the behavior of crayfish at diluted concentrations, venlafaxine does not. Water 11: 196. https://doi.org/10.3390/w11020196

Open Access Lidova J, Buric M, Kouba A, Velisek J. 2019. Acute toxicity of two pyrethroid insecticides for five non-indigenous crayfish species in Europe. Veterinarni Medicina 64(03): 125–133. https://doi.org/10.17221/136/2018-VETMED

Open Access Lipták B, Veselý L, Ercoli F, Bláha M, Buric M, Ruokonen TJ, Kouba A. 2019. Trophic role of marbled crayfish in a lentic freshwater ecosystem. Aquatic Invasions 14(2): 299-309. https://doi.org/10.3391/ai.2019.14.2.09

Open Access Mauvisseau Q, Tönges S, Andriantsoa R, Lyko F, Sweet M. 2019. Early detection of an emerging invasive species: eDNA monitoring of a parthenogenetic crayfish in freshwater systems. Management of Biological Invasions 10(3): 449–460. https://doi.org/10.3391/mbi.2019.10.3.04

Shinji J, Gotoh H, Miyanishi H, Lavine MD, Lavine LC. 2019. The activin signaling transcription factor Smox is an essential regulator of appendage size during regeneration after autotomy in the crayfish. Evolution & Development 21(1). 44-55. https://doi.org/10.1111/ede.12277

Stara A, Kubec J, Zuskova E, Buric M, Faggio C, Kouba A, Velisek J. 2019. Effects of S-metolachlor and its degradation product metolachlor OA on marbled crayfish (Procambarus virginalis). Chemosphere 224: 616-625. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2019.02.187

Takahashi K, Yamaguchi E, Fujiyama N, Nagayama T. 2019. The effects of quality of shelters and prior residence on Marmorkrebs (marbled crayfish). Journal of Experimental Biology 222(6): jeb197301. https://doi.org/10.1242/jeb.197301

New Veerappan V. 2019. The effects of peptide neuromodulators on temperature responses in the crustacean nervous system. University of Illinois University Research Symposium: 351. https://ir.library.illinoisstate.edu/rsp_urs/351 (Conference abstract)

Velisek J, Stara A, Zuskova E, Kubec J, Buric M, Kouba A. 2019. Effects of s-metolachlor on early life stages of marbled crayfish. Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology 153: 87-94. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pestbp.2018.11.007

New Vogt G, Dorn NJ, Pfeiffer M, Lukhaup C, Williams BW, Schulz R, Schrimpf A. 2019. The dimension of biological change caused by autotriploidy: A meta-analysis with triploid crayfish Procambarus virginalis and its diploid parent Procambarus fallax. Zoologischer Anzeiger 281: 53-67. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcz.2019.06.006

Open Access Weiperth A, Gál B, Kuříková P, Langrová I, Kouba A, Patoka J. 2019. Risk assessment of pet-traded decapod crustaceans in Hungary with evidence of Cherax quadricarinatus (von Martens, 1868) in the wild. North–Western Journal of Zoology 15(1): 42-47. http://biozoojournals.ro/nwjz/content/v15n1/nwjz_e171303_Weiperth.pdf


Popular press

Tropical Fish Hobbyist March 2009 cover New Scientist issue 3185 cover

Anonymous. 2007. British crayfish could be wiped out by alien species with the plague. The Daily Mail. 28 June 2007.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-464965/British-crayfish-wiped-alien-species-plague.html

Anonymous. 2016. Cangrejo mármol, una curiosa especie invasora con dos caras. Real Jardín Botánico press release. 8 September 2016. http://www.rjb.csic.es/jardinbotanico/jardin/contenido.php?Pag=236&tipo=noticia&cod=5283

Coghlan A. 2003. Crayfish clones poised to invade European waters. New Scientist 2383 (22 February 2003).
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg17723830.900-crayfish-clones-poised-to-invade-european-waters.html

Estonian Research Council. 2018. The marbled crayfish have established themselves in Narva power plant. EurekAlert!
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-06/erc-tmc060618.php

Faulkes Z. 2009. How Marmorkrebs can make the world a better place. In: Rohn J (ed.), Grant RP (deputy ed.), Zivkovic B (series ed.), The Open Laboratory: The Best In Science Writing On Blogs 2008, pp. 86-87. Coturnix: Chapel Hill.
http://www.lulu.com/content/6110823
Original post: http://marmorkrebs.blogspot.com/2008/02/how-marmorkrebs-can-make-world-better.html

Faulkes Z. 2011. The decade the clones came. In: Goldman JG (ed.), Zivkovic B (series ed.), The Open Laboratory: The Best of Science Writing on the Web 2010, pp. 151-156. Coturnix: Chapel Hill.
http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/the-open-laboratory-2010/15156343
Original post: http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=the-decade-the-clones-came-beware-t-2010-11-29

Fujiie H. 2017. War urged to destroy alien cloning mystery crayfish. The Asahi Shimbun (Japanese newspaper) news story. 13 April 2017. http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201704130011.html

German Cancer Research Center. 2015. A cray-active solution for cancer research. http://medicalxpress.com/news/2015-11-cray-active-solution-cancer.html

Heimer K. 2010. Invasion of self-cloning crayfish alarms Madagascar. Deutsche Presse-Agentur wire story.
http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/news/339974,alarms-madagascar-feature.html

Horton J. 2013. Scots wildlife at risk from alien crayfish breeds. The Scotsman. 21 April 2013.
http://www.scotsman.com/scotland-on-sunday/scotland/scots-wildlife-at-risk-from-alien-crayfish-breeds-1-2904005

Le Page M. 2018. Crayfish clone army on the loose. New Scientist 239(3185): 16. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0262-4079(18)31193-X (Published online with title, “Freak accident created a massive army of super-fertile clones.”)

Linzmaier S. 2016. Vom Aquarium in den See. Verbundjournal 106: 14-15.

Löwe K. 2010. Gefahr aus dem Aquarium. Mitteldeutsche Zeitung (Central German Newspaper) news story. 13 October 2010.
http://www.mz-web.de/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=ksta/page&atype=ksArtikel&aid=1286541137817&calledPageId=987490165154.

Pennisi E. 2015. Crayfish create a new species of female ‘superclones’. Science News ScienceShots. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aad1673

Privenau K. 2010. Marmorkrebs bringt Pest. Mitteldeutsche Zeitung (Central German Newspaper) news story. 12 October 2010.
http://www.mz-web.de/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=ksta/page&atype=ksArtikel&aid=1286541132341&calledPageId=987490165154

Robbins M. 2009. Owning clones. Tropical Fish Hobbyist 57(7): 72-74.
http://www.tfhmagazine.com/freshwater/feature-articles/owning-clones.htm

Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management. 2012. Discovery of marbled crayfish creates concern.
https://www.havochvatten.se/en/start/about-us/press-and-media/press-releases/press-releases/12-5-2012-discovery-of-marbled-crayfish-creates-concern.html

Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management. 2013. First analysis of marbled crayfish completed.
https://www.havochvatten.se/en/start/about-us/press-and-media/press-releases/press-releases/12-5-2012-discovery-of-marbled-crayfish-creates-concern.html

Zhang S. 2018. A pet crayfish can clone itself, and it’s spreading around the world. The Atlantic
https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/02/attack-of-the-crayfish-clones/552236/

Zimmer C. 2018. This mutant crayfish clones itself, and it’s taking over Europe. The New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/05/science/mutant-crayfish-clones-europe.html


Laws

Missouri has added Marmorkrebs to its prohibited species list, effective 1 March 2011. Read more here. Tennessee designated Marmorkrebs as “Class V wildlife,” meaning they can only be kept by zoos, effective October 2015. Read more here and here.


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This work by Zen Faulkes is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

This site maintained by Zen Faulkes. Last updated 28 September 2019.