The research of epifauna on freshwater crayfish as basibionts was conducted during springsummer (sic) 2014. and 2015. Epizoic community was examined from five different crayfish: three autochtonous species Astacus astacus, Austropotamobius pallipes, A. torrentium and two introduced, invasive species Pacifastacus leniusculus and Procambarus fallax f. viriginalis. The aims of this research were: (i) to analyze epizoic community living on freshwater crayfish, (ii) to compare epifauna living on crayfish with surrounding fauna living on sediment and periphyton, (iii) to compare epifauna between crayfish species, especially between autochthonous and allochthonous species. The results of statistical analysis indicated a significant difference between epifauna and fauna of sediment and periphyton. 44 different taxa of epifauna was recorded. The most abundant group was Ciliophora with most common species Vorticella campanula and Epistylis sp. The most diverse group was Rotifera with most common species Lepadella parasitica and Dicranophorus hauerianus. Branchiobdellidanas were confiremd (sic) as common crayfish epibionts and for the first time nort (sic) american species Xirogiton victoriensis has been recored (sic) in Croatia. Catenulida, Gastrotricha, Nematoda, Bivalvia, Hirudinea, Tardigrada, Crustacea, Hydrachnidia and Chironomidae were also recorded living on freshwater crayfish. Results of NMDS and Cluster analyses showed the eparation (sic) of epifauna from autochotnous and allochthonous crayfish and also the separation of epifauna between autochthonous species. Results of statistical analyses showed significant difference between epifauna and fauna of sediment and periphyton. It can be concluded that the whole epizoic community composition established on a particular crayfish is species-specific and can be different between basibiont species.
Keywords: autochtonous and alochtonous species • epibionts • basibionts • Ciliophora • Rotifera • Xirogiton victoriensis