White-clawed Crayfish

Austropotamobius pallipes


As Britain’s only native freshwater crayfish, the White Clawed crayfish is in decline due to the introduction of the North American Signal crayfish, bringing disease to which the indigenous crayfish has no natural resistance. An omnivorous crustacean species, they eat invertebrates, carrion, water plants and dead organic matter.

How to identify

The crayfish is small and bronze coloured with pale undersides on their claws.

Where to find it

They habit small freshwater streams of a depth less than 1 metre, hiding underneath stones and rocks in small crevices where they forage for food.

When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

How can people help

In the last ten years, numbers have suffered an 80% decline and as such are on the verge of extinction through disease, competition and pollution. To help to look after crayfish and other freshwater species, The Wildlife Trusts work with landowners, statutory bodies, water companies and other organisations to help manage river and wetland habitats sympathetically. You can help by supporting your local Trust and becoming a member; you'll find out about exciting wildlife happenings, events on your doorstep and volunteering opportunities, and be helping local wildlife along the way.

Species information

Common name
White-clawed Crayfish
Latin name
Austropotamobius pallipes
Crustacea (e.g. woodlice)
Lifespan: 8-15 years Length:11cm
Conservation status
The White-clawed Crayfish is classified as Endangered (EN) on the IUCN Red List.