First record of the North American invasive crayfish Pacifastacus leniusculus from the Kanto region, Tone River basin, central Japan: A range expansion to a warm water area

Kazuyoshi Nakata, Norio Hayashi, Masumi Ozaki, Akifumi Ohtaka, Junji Miwa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)


The North American invasive signal crayfish Pacifastacus leniusculus was designated as an 'Invasive Alien Species' by the Ministry of the Environment of Japan and by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan on 1 February 2006. We report the first record of P. leniusculus from the Kanto region (Chiba Prefecture), central Japan. Adult specimens of P. leniusculus were collected from the Tone River basin between September 2009 and January 2010. Ectosymbiotic crayfish worms (Annelida, Clitellata, Branchiobdellidae) were found on the crayfish and all specimens were identified as Sathodrilus attenuatus, which outside of its home range in North America occurs only in the Hokkaido and Fukushima Prefecture populations of P. leniusculus; thus suggesting that P. leniusculus in the Tone River basin was introduced from Hokkaido or Fukushima Prefecture. Signal crayfish is considered a cool water species and has been reported mostly in Hokkaido, northern Japan, but our findings strongly indicate that P. leniusculus has become established in a warm water area in central Japan, where the maximum water temperature is above 30°C in summer. These results indicate that P. leniusculus can inhabit warm water areas as well as cool areas and would be able to extend its distribution over a wide range in Japan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-168
Number of pages4
JournalPlankton and Benthos Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes



  • Branchiobdellida
  • Invasive alien species
  • Pacifastacus leniusculus
  • Sathodrilus attenuatus
  • Signal crayfish

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology

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