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

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:

Council or Task Force

Species of Concern Fact Sheet: Rusty Crayfish
Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force.

Stop the Invasion: Non-Native Crayfish (PDF | 310 KB)
Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office. Washington Invasive Species Council.
See also: Outreach and Educational Materials - Invasive Species Fact Sheets for more resources


NEANS Panel Online Guide - Rusty Crayfish
Northeast Aquatic Nuisance Species Panel.

TISI Inventory - Rusty Crayfish
Texas State University System. Texas Invasive Species Institute.

Global Invasive Species Database - Orconectes rusticus (crustacean)
IUCN. Species Survival Commission. Invasive Species Specialist Group.

Invaders Factsheet: Rusty Crayfish
Ontario's Invading Species Awareness Program (Canada).

Federal Government

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

National Exotic Marine and Estuarine Species Information System (NEMESIS) - Orconectes rusticus
Smithsonian Institution. Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. Marine Invasions Research Lab.

International Government

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.

State Government

Aquatic Invasive Species: Rusty Crayfish Risk Analysis for Arizona (Jul 2010; PDF | 295 KB)
Arizona Game and Fish Department.
See also: Aquatic Invasive Species for additional risk analyses and related species information

Aquatic Invasive Species: Rusty Crayfish (Sep 2005; PDF | 131 KB)
Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
See also: Invasive Species for exotic animal and plant pests invading Indiana, causing economic and visual damage

Invasive Aquatic Animals: Rusty Crayfish (Orconectes rusticus)
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Rusty Crayfish
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

Invasive Species - Crayfish
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.


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

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

Factsheet: Rusty Crayfish
Pennsylvania State University. Pennsylvania Sea Grant.
See also: Aquatic Invasive Species: Resources for additional species information

Invasive Species Fact Sheets - Rusty Crayfish
University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute.


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: Jul 19, 2018
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