For many animals, shelters are valuable source to hide from predators. To know acquisition of adequate shelter is important to understand social interactions of animals. Preferences for types of shelter used by the Marmorkrebs (marbled crayfish) were analysed behaviourally. Individual crayfish were presented with a choice between two PVC pipes with four different internal diameters (XL, L, M and S). The time spent in each shelter and the number of times crayfish entered each shelter were measured. Preference ranks of crayfish were XL = L = or > M > S. Our experiments strongly suggested that crayfish chose shelters based first on the diameter of the entrance, and then based on the length of the shelter. Crayfish recognised adequate shelters by visual cues under light conditions and utilised tactile cues from their antennae under dark conditions.
Keywords: recognition • visual cue • crayfish • shelter choice • thigmotactic cue