Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Invasion by non-indigenous freshwater decapods of Malta and Sicily, central Mediterranean Sea.

Abstract

Invasive species can cause significant changes in local and regional ecologies, especially in freshwater ecosystems. It is thus important to monitor and document the spread of non-indigenous species to such habitats as such information can be critical to preserving habitats and species. We document the spread of the red swamp crayfish Procambarus clarkii (Girard, 1852) (Cambaridae), a highly invasive non-indigenous species, in Malta and south Sicily. We also document the first records of other non-indigenous decapods important in the pet trade or in aquaculture, Procambarus virginalis Lyko, 2017 (Cambaridae), Pontastacus leptodactylus (Eschscholtz, 1823) (Astacidae), Cherax quadricarinatus von Martens, 1868 (Parastacidae), Pacifastacus leniusculus (Dana, 1852) (Astacidae), and Atyopsis moluccensis (De Haan), 1849 (Atyidae) from freshwater localities in the Maltese Archipelago and Cherax destructor Clark, 1936 (Parastacidae) from southeastern Sicily. The study provides recommendations on the adoption of control measures by the competent national authorities with respect to these non-indigenous species.