Marmorkrebs, or marbled crayfish, are parthenogeneticcrayfish that were discovered in the pet trade in Germany in the 1990s. Marmorkrebs are closely related to the "slough crayfish", Procambarus fallax.P. fallax is widely distributed across Florida, but no natural populations of marmorkrebs are known. Information provided by one of the original pet traders as to where the marmorkrebs originated was deemed "totally confusing and unreliable".Marmorkrebs is German for "marbled crayfish".
Marmorkrebs are the only known decapodcrustaceans to reproduce by parthenogenesis. All individuals are female, and the offspring are genetically identical to the parent. Because marmorkrebs are genetically identical, easy to care for, and reproduce at high rates, they are a potential model organism, particularly for studying development. A major drawback, however, is the long generation time (several months) compared to other research organisms.
Although most reports of marmorkrebs in the wild in Europe have consisted of only single individuals, an established population has now been documented in Germany, with reports of a second population in another German locale.
The Madagascar population is growing rapidly, causing concern among local authorities.
Although no cases of marmorkrebs have been found in the wild in North America, they are widely distributed among hobbyists in the North American pet trade. Due to concerns about the possible damage caused by their introduction, Missouri added them to its prohibited species list.
^ abcGerhard Scholtz, Anke Braband, Laura Tolley, André Reimann, Beate Mittmann, Chris Lukhaup, Frank Steuerwald & Günter Vogt (2003). "Parthenogenesis in an outsider crayfish". Nature421 (6925): 806. doi:10.1038/421806a. PMID12594502.
^Horton H. Hobbs, Jr. (1942). "The crayfishes of Florida". University of Florida Publication: Biological Series3 (2): 1–179.
^ abGünter Vogt, Laura Tolley & Gerhard Scholtz (2004). "Life stages and reproductive components of the Marmorkrebs (marbled crayfish), the first parthenogenetic decapod crustacean". Journal of Morphology261 (3): 286–311. doi:10.1002/jmor.10250.
^Frederike Alwes & Gerhard Scholtz (2006). "Stages and other aspects of the embryology of the parthenogenetic Marmorkrebs (Decapoda, Reptantia, Astacida)". Development Genes and Evolution216 (4): 169–184. doi:10.1007/s00427-005-0041-8.
^ abPeer Martin, Hong Shen, Gert Füllner & Gerhard Scholtz (2010). "The first record of the parthenogenetic Marmorkrebs (Decapoda, Astacida, Cambaridae) in the wild in Saxony (Germany) raises the question of its actual threat to European freshwater ecosystems". Aquatic Invasions5 (4): 397–403. doi:10.3391/ai.2010.5.4.09.
^ abChristoph Chucholl & Michael Pfeiffer (2010). "First evidence for an established Marmorkrebs (Decapoda, Astacida, Cambaridae) population in Southwestern Germany, in syntopic occurrence with Orconectes limosus (Rafinesque, 1817)". Aquatic Invasions5 (4): 405–412. doi:10.3391/ai.2010.5.4.10.
^Francesco Nonnis Marzano, Massimiliano Scalici, Stefania Chiesa, Francesca Gherardi, Armando Piccinini & Giancarlo Gibertini (2009). "The first record of the marbled crayfish adds further threats to fresh waters in Italy". Aquatic Invasions4 (2): 401–404. doi:10.3391/ai.2009.4.2.19.
^ abJulia P. G. Jones, Jeanne R. Rasamy, Andrew Harvey, Alicia Toon, Birgit Oidtmann, Michele H. Randrianarison, Noromalala Raminosoa & Olga R. Ravoahangimalala (2008). "The perfect invader: a parthenogenic crayfish poses a new threat to Madagascar's freshwater biodiversity". Biological Invasions11 (6): 1475–1482. doi:10.1007/s10530-008-9334-y.