25 July 2019

Hossain and colleagues, 2019c

Hossain MS, Kouba A Buřič M. 2019. Morphometry, size at maturity, and fecundity of marbled crayfish (Procambarus virginalis). Zoologischer Anzeiger 281: 68-75. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcz.2019.06.005


Morphometric ratios, relationships and condition factors provide information regarding growth patterns, population dynamics and well-being of individuals in particular environments. Ecology of any species is then better understandable through life history traits and reproductive potential. The present study is aimed at exploring the morphometric and reproductive patterns of the parthenogenetic marbled crayfish, Procambarus virginalis. Marbled crayfish exhibited positive allometric growth and statistically significant common length-weight relationships. Abdomen width, claw length, width, and height increase significantly faster than the chosen most robust body size parameter, postorbital carapace length (POCL). Conversely, total length, carapace length, carapace width, and abdomen length grow proportionally slower than POCL. The condition factor was higher than the threshold value of ∼1 indicating the well-being of the crayfish used. Marbled crayfish, at their first reproduction, were recorded as long as 42.8 ± 10.8 (31.5–73.5) mm total length with a mean fecundity of 89.72 ± 56.9 (22–349) eggs. The relative fecundity (per 1 mm of POCL) of females reproducing for the first time was significantly lower compared to those reproducing repeatedly. Fecundity and relative fecundity exhibited a significant linear relationship with the carapace length and weight of mothers. As a tool for total fecundity estimation, the number of eggs on the third pair of pleopods was counted and plotted against size of mothers, and total fecundity. The number of eggs attached to the third pair of pleopods very closely correlates with the carapace length, weight and total fecundity. Based on our results, it can be concluded that abdomen width and claw growth is allometric compared to POCL which confirms the importance of these body parts. Fecundity parameters were confirmed to have a tight relationship to marbled crayfish size. Clutch size estimation can be used in future research based on the close correlation of egg counts on third pleopods and total fecundity.

Keywords: growth • reproduction • Procambarus virginalis • morphometry • fecundity

08 July 2019

Weiperth and colleagues, 2019

Weiperth A, Gál B, Kuøíková P, Langrová I, Kouba A, Patoka J. 2019. Risk assessment of pet-traded decapod crustaceans in Hungary with evidence of Cherax quadricarinatus (von Martens, 1868) in the wild. North–Western Journal of Zoology 15(1): 42-47. http://biozoojournals.ro/nwjz/content/v15n1/nwjz_e171303_Weiperth.pdf


The pet trade is one of the most important sources of introduction of freshwater non-native decapod crustaceans. Precise and timely identification of potentially hazardous species is necessary for the effective prevention of new introductions. Here, we present a list of species of ornamental freshwater decapod crustaceans pet-traded in Hungary and their risk assessment, including the probability of establishment based on climate matching. The list contains 13 shrimps, eight crayfish, two crabs, and one hermit crab. Three crayfish, Cherax destructor, Procambarus clarkii, P. virginalis, and one crab, Eriocheir sinensis, were classified in the high-risk category. During field sampling, we found three individuals of C. quadricarinatus that were probably released or escaped from aquaria. These are the first records of this species in the wild of Carpathian Basin. We strongly recommend further educating hobbyists about the risks related to the escapes and releases of high-risk taxa, as well as monitoring of the region for their occurrence.

Keywords: Carpathian Basin • crayfish • crab • hermit crab • invasiveness • ornamental animal • redclaw • shrimp

Vogt and colleagues, 2019

Vogt G, Dorn NJ, Pfeiffer M, Lukhaup C, Williams BW, Schulz R, Schrimpf A. 2019. The dimension of biological change caused by autotriploidy: A meta-analysis with triploid crayfish Procambarus virginalis and its diploid parent Procambarus fallax. Zoologischer Anzeiger 281: 53-67. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcz.2019.06.006


The biological changes caused by autotriploidy are poorly studied in animals. To investigate this issue in depth, we compared genetics, morphology, life history, ecology and behaviour of the triploid marbled crayfish and its diploid parent, slough crayfish Procambarus fallax. We performed a meta-analysis of our data and literature data. Our COI based molecular tree, consisting of 27 species of Cambaridae, confirmed the close taxonomic relationship between marbled crayfish and P. fallax. Comparison of both crayfish revealed similarities in mitochondrial gene sequences, morphological characters, colouration, body proportions and behaviours. Considerable differences were recorded with respect to chromosome number in somatic cells, haploid genome size, DNA methylation level, body size, fecundity, longevity, population size structure, invasiveness, and the range of inhabited biomes. These differences have dimensions that are otherwise only observed between species supporting earlier proposed raising of marbled crayfish from P. fallax forma virginalis to a new species named Procambarus virginalis. Particularly noteworthy is the enhancement of the fitness traits that probably resulted from evolutionary changes in gene expression. These alterations and the transition from sexual reproduction to parthenogenesis are likely responsible for the increased invasiveness of marbled crayfish in tropical to cold-temperate biomes.

Keywords: autopolyploidy • marbled crayfish • genetics • morphology • life history • ecology