Procambarus clarkii (girard, 1852) and crayfish plague as new threats for biodiversity in Indonesia.
Numerous freshwater crayfish species are known to become successful invaders when introduced to new territories. One of the most invasive species in this group is the red swamp crayfish, Procambarus clarkii (Girard, 1852). In addition to other characteristics facilitating its invasiveness, it is also a vector of crayfish plague, a disease mostly lethal to crayfish of non-North American origin. Procambarus clarkii, at present the most widespread crayfish species globally, is popular in many countries both for human consumption and as an ornamental animal. An established population of this species was documented for the first time within Indonesia, representing the first record for maritime Southeast Asia. The species is also common in the local ornamental pet trade. Infection by the crayfish plague pathogen Aphanomyces astaci Schikora was confirmed both in the outdoor population of P. clarkii and in one of the surveyed pet shops. Furthermore, A. astaci was detected in specimens of freshwater crab and shrimp species coexisting with P. clarkii. Local climatic conditions and the species temperature requirements suggest a high probability of the establishment of P. clarkii in Indonesia. Its further spread could irreversibly damage populations of many native endemic crustaceans in the country (as well as elsewhere in the region), and the thriving local aquacultures of the redclaw crayfish Cherax quadricarinatus (von Martens, 1868) may also be threatened. The total ban of P. clarkii and other crayfish species of North American origin in Indonesia is strongly recommended, especially considering that aquaculture and trade with Australasian species is a viable alternative option.