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You are here: Home / Aquatic Species / Species Profiles / Rusty Crayfish
Aquatic Species
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Rusty Crayfish

Rusty crayfish - USGS, FISCScientific name: Orconectes rusticus (Girard, 1852) (ITIS)

Common name: Rusty crayfish

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Selected Resources

Native To: Ohio River drainage (Wilson et al. 2004)

Date of U.S. Introduction: First discovered outside of its native range in Wisconsin in the 1960s (DiDonato and Lodge 1993)

Means of Introduction: Probably through bait bucket releases (DiDonato and Lodge 1993)

Impact: Competes with native crayfish species and causes a decline in native species abundance (DiDonato and Lodge 1993)

Current U.S. Distribution: Great Lakes Region, New England, and Eastern U.S.


Selected Resources:


Rusty Crayfish
Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force.


Rusty Crayfish
Northeast Aquatic Nuisance Species Panel

Global Invasive Species Database - Orconectes rusticus (crustacean)
World Conservation Union. Invasive Species Specialist Group.


Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database: Fact Sheet - Rusty Crayfish
DOI. USGS. Southeast Ecological Science Center.
Provides distribution maps and collection information (State and County).

Biological Synopsis of the Rusty Crayfish (Orconectes rusticus) (2010; PDF | 856 KB)
Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Central and Arctic Region.
Canadian Manuscript Report of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 2923.


Aquatic Invasive Species: Rusty Crayfish (PDF | 131 KB)
Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

Rusty Crayfish (PDF | 515 KB)
Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

Rusty Crayfish (Orconectes rusticus)
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Rusty Crayfish
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

Rusty Crayfish Fact Sheet (PDF | 68 KB)
Conservation Commission of Missouri.

Invasive Species - Crayfish
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Environmental Education for Kids: Rusty Crayfish
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.


Aquatic Invader Toolkit - Rusty Crayfish (PDF | 634 KB)
Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant.

Animal Diversity Web - Orconectes rusticus
University of Michigan. Museum of Zoology.

Rusty Crayfish: A Nasty Invader
University of Minnesota. Minnesota Sea Grant.

Fact Sheet: Rusty Crayfish (PDF | 255 KB)
Pennsylvania State University. Pennsylvania Sea Grant.

Rusty Crayfish
Texas State University System. Institute for the Study of Invasive Species.


Rusty Crayfish (Orconectes rusticus)
Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (Canada). Invading Species Awareness Program.

Rusty Crayfish
Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council (Michigan).


DiDonato, G.T. and D.M. Lodge. 1993. Species replacements among Orconectes crayfishes in Wisconsin lakes: the role of predation by fish. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 50(7):1484-1488.

Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Orconectes rusticus. [Accessed Sep 10, 2014].

Wilson, K.A., J.J. Magnuson, D.M. Lodge, A.M. Hill, T.K. Kratz, W.L. Perry, and T.V. Willis. 2004. A long-term rusty crayfish (Orconectes rusticus) invasion: dispersal patterns and community change in a north temperate lake. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 61(11):2255-2266.

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Last Modified: Jan 21, 2016
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