Austropotamobius bihariensis

Austropotamobius bihariensis is a species of crayfish in the family Astacidae. It is known to exist only in Romania being restricted to the rivers in the western Apuseni Mountains.[1] Its proposed English common name is idle crayfish.[2] It is supposed to have diverged/split ~15 Ma old from a common relative of A. torrentium from the Dinarides and evolved isolated due to the historically tectonic north-eastern movement of Tisza-Dacia mega-unit (including the Apuseni Mountains) through the Pannonian Basin, during the Miocene.[3] The molecular divergence in 582 base length nucleotides of COI mtDNA sequences is supported by 43 mutational steps, a differentiation of 7.4% from the sister clade of A. torrentium located in north-western Dinarides[1]

Austropotamobius bihariensis
Austropotamobius bihariensis 2.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Crustacea
Class: Malacostraca
Order: Decapoda
Family: Astacidae
Genus: Austropotamobius
A. bihariensis
Binomial name
Austropotamobius bihariensis
Pârvulescu, 2019


This crayfish strongly resembles its close relative A. torrentium. The individuals, not longer than 10 cm, are brown dorsally, showing lighter colors on the ventral side with hints of orange on the claws. In comparison with Austropotamobius torrentium (the stone crayfish), it has a shorter rostrum, the antennal scale is smooth without denticules and the claws are covered with tubercules that are bigger and not as many as on the stone crayfish claws.[1]


European crayfish species prefer in general clean waters, but their tolerance to water pollution is variable.[4][5][6] A. bihariensis seems to prefer cleaner and better oxygenated rivers than the stone crayfish.[1]


A. bihariensis range.

All the populations of A. bihariensis are found in the upper sectors of Criș rivers (Crișul Alb, Crișul Negru and Crișul Repede). The holotype (deposited at the Grigore Antipa National Museum of Natural History) was collected from Damiș river, Bratca commune, Bihor county.[1]


A. bihariensis populations were previously treated as A. torrentium (a threatened species, listed in the IUCN Red List and in the appendix of the Bern Convention[7] and EU Habitats Directive.[8] Conservation status of the idle crayfish is not assessed. Along with other crayfish species from Europe, the idle crayfish faces several threats, among which, the pressure of invasive species is very important[9]


  1. ^ a b c d e Pârvulescu L (2019). "Introducing a new Austropotamobius crayfish species (Crustacea, Decapoda, Astacidae): A Miocene endemism of the Apuseni Mountains, Romania". Zoologischer Anzeiger. 279: 94–102. doi:10.1016/j.jcz.2019.01.006. ISSN 0044-5231.
  2. ^ "Crayfish of Romania". Retrieved 2019-05-09.
  3. ^ Pârvulescu L, Pérez-Moreno JL, Panaiotu C, Drăguț L, Schrimpf A, Popovici ID, Zaharia C, Weiperth A, Gál B, Schubart CD, Bracken-Grissom H (February 2019). "A journey on plate tectonics sheds light on European crayfish phylogeography". Ecology and Evolution. 9 (4): 1957–1971. doi:10.1002/ece3.4888. PMC 6392496. PMID 30847085.
  4. ^ Füreder L, Reynolds JD (2003). "Is Austropotamobius pallipes a good bioindicator?". Bulletin Français de la Pêche et de la Pisciculture (370–371): 157–63. doi:10.1051/kmae:2003011.
  5. ^ Pârvulescu L, Pacioglu O, Hamchevici C (2011). "The assessment of the habitat and water quality requirements of the stone crayfish (Austropotamobius torrentium) and noble crayfish (Astacus astacus) species in the rivers from the Anina Mountains (SW Romania)". Knowledge and Management of Aquatic Ecosystems (401): 03. doi:10.1051/kmae/2010036.
  6. ^ Haddaway NR, Mortimer RJ, Christmas M, Dunn AM (2015). "Water chemistry and endangered white-clawed Crayfish: a literature review and field study of water chemistry association in Austropotamobius pallipes". Knowledge and Management of Aquatic Ecosystems (416): 01. doi:10.1051/kmae/2014037.
  7. ^ "Appendix III. Protected fauna species". Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats. Council of Europe. November 19, 1979.
  8. ^ "Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora". European Union.
  9. ^ Richman NI, Böhm M, Adams SB, Alvarez F, Bergey EA, Bunn JJ, et al. (February 2015). "Multiple drivers of decline in the global status of freshwater crayfish (Decapoda: Astacidea)". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences. Royal Society of London. 370 (1662): 20140060. doi:10.1098/rstb.2014.0060. OCLC 907440090. PMC 4290432. PMID 25561679.