21 April 2014

Time to rename “crayfish” plague?

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.

Related post

Plague poster


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.

08 April 2014

Nefarious schemes!

Action! Adventure! Crayfish!

I always joke that the reason I went to grad school was so I could get a Ph.D., so I could be called “Doctor Zen” and sound like the villain from a bad kung fu movie.

Not a kung fu movie, but just as good.

Game designer John Wick is an acquittance of mine, who I connected with back in my grad school days. After I got my Ph.D., he took to calling me “the nefarious Doctor Zen.”

My evil namesake has been a recurring character in John’s role-playing projects (here and
there),but this is probably the biggest role yet. It includes this little bit:

The plan backfired, however, as the spider fought against Doctor Zen and his army of giant marmorkrebs (also known as marbled crayfish).

What villianous henchmen do I have now? Still very crustacean related... you will have to buy the game adventure to find out!

External links

Cartoon Action hour at Spectrum Games
Cartoon Action Hour core game
Cartoon Action Hour Season 3: Infinivaders!