Marmorkrebs are potential vectors for crayfish plague, which is caused by Aphanomyces astaci. This pathogen devastated European crayfish since being introduced along with North American crayfish.
Now, we find out it’s not just crayfish that it can infect. A new paper by Svoboda and colleagues shows it can infect freshwater crabs, like the land crab Potamon potamios (pictured) and the Chinese mitten crab Eriocheir sinensis. The crabs appear to be more resistant to the infection than European crayfish, making the problem that the crabs are potential spreaders of disease than sufferers from it.
Hat tip to Tommy Leung.
Svoboda J, Strand DA, Vrålstad T, Grandjean F, Edsman L, Kozák P, Kouba A, Fristad RF, Bahadir Koca S, Petrusek A. 2014. The crayfish plague pathogen can infect freshwater-inhabiting crabs. Freshwater Biology 59:918-929.
Photo by Alastair Rae on Flickr; used under a Creative Commons license.