Due to the American crayfish plague, crayfish of this genus have been almost wiped out in Europe and have in many European countries been replaced by the North American signal crayfish, which is often more resistant to the plague.
Astacus astacus, the "European crayfish", "noble crayfish" or "broad-fingered crayfish", is the most common species of crayfish in Europe, and a traditional foodstuff. Like other crayfish, Astacus astacus is restricted to fresh water, living only in unpolluted streams, rivers and lakes. It is found from France throughout Central Europe, to the Balkan peninsula, and north as far as parts of the British Isles, Scandinavia, and the western parts of the former Soviet Union. Males may grow up to 16 cm long, and females up to 12 cm.
Astacus leptodactylus, the "Danube crayfish", "Galician crayfish", "Turkish crayfish" or "narrow-clawed crayfish", is a species of crayfish imported and introduced to Central Europe in 19th century from the Caspian Sea region.
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- Sammy De Grave, N. Dean Pentcheff, Shane T. Ahyong et al. (2009). "A classification of living and fossil genera of decapod crustaceans". Raffles Bulletin of Zoology. Suppl. 21: 1–109.
- "Noble crayfish (Astacus astacus)". ARKive. Retrieved May 6, 2007.