29 March 2011

Pic of the moment: 29 March 2011

Marmoratus rex! But is it a predator or scavenger?

From here.

21 March 2011

Open Lab 2010 is here!

Now available at Lulu!

Contains my Marmorkrebs essay that originally appeared in the Scientific American guest blog, which is specifically mentioned in these comments.

15 March 2011

Feria and Faulkes, 2011

Aquatic Invasions logoFeria TP, Faulkes Z. 2011. Forecasting the distribution of Marmorkrebs, a parthenogenetic crayfish with high invasive potential, in Madagascar, Europe, and North America. Aquatic Invasions 6(1): 55-67. http://dx.doi.org/10.3391/ai.2011.6.1.07


The parthenogenetic marbled crayfish, Marmorkrebs, has high potential to become an invasive species because single individuals can establish a population. Marmorkrebs have already been introduced in several countries, have successfully established populations in at least two of them, and are rapidly expanding in one case (Madagascar). To assess the potential ecological threat arising from further Marmorkrebs introductions, we developed four species distribution models using the distribution of Procambarus fallax (the sexual form of Marmorkrebs) and exotic populations of Marmorkrebs in Madagascar and Europe. The models were applied to three regions where Marmorkrebs pose a conservation concern: Madagascar, where Marmorkrebs populations are growing; Europe, where individuals have been found repeatedly, and where some Marmorkrebs populations are becoming established, and; North America, where Marmorkrebs are sold as pets, which presents a risk of introduction into North American ecosystems. All models predicted that eastern Madagascar provides suitable habitat for Marmorkrebs. Most models suggested that relatively small areas of Europe are suitable habitat, although a model that includes locations of Marmorkrebs introductions in Europe predicts much of Europe could be suitable, which is supported by recent discoveries of populations in Germany. All models predicted that the south eastern United States, Cuba, and much of Mexico are also potential habitats. The climatic variable with the greatest predictive power was precipitation in the warmest quarter, which may reflect a susceptibility to drought that has been documented for P. fallax.

Keywords: marbled crayfish • MaxEnt • Procambarus fallax • species distribution models

08 March 2011

Marmorkrebs on the road: Texas Academy of Science 2011

This is a poster I made for the 114th annual meeting of the Texas Academy of Science, which was held last week in Austin, Texas. Though I say it myself, I think it’s one of my best. (Click to enlarge.)

The models presented are based on a forthcoming paper. This is why I was messing around with mapping Texas crayfish diversity hotspots.


Feria TP, Faulkes Z. Forecasting the distribution of Marmorkrebs, a parthenogenetic crayfish with high invasive potential, in Madagascar, Europe, and North America. Aquatic Invasions 6(1): In press. http://www.aquaticinvasions.net/2011/AI_2011_6_1_Feria_Faulkes_correctedproof.pdf (Preprint)

03 March 2011

National Invasive Species Awareness Week

I didn’t realize that Marmorkrebs becoming a banned species in Missouri would be so well timed as to happen during National Invasive Species Awareness Week.

Despite the name, however, this seems to be mainly a Washington, D.C. area event. More information at http://www.nisaw.org.

01 March 2011

Marmorkrebs in Missouri

If you live in Missouri, you are now on notice. Marmorkrebs have been added to the state’s prohibited species list, as was previously reported here.

This marks an interesting turning point for Marmorkrebs as pets. It will be interesting to see where we go from here.