Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Crayfish species proves to be the ultimate survivor

Date:
August 3, 2012
Source:
Queen Mary, University of London
Summary:
Red swamp crayfish, known as one of the most successful invaders on Earth, is able to feed off the land as well as getting food from its usual source in the water.

Researchers studied red swamp crayfish in Kenya's Lake Naivasha. They found that when the water level of the lake was low, the crayfish found additional food sources on land.
Credit: © chungking / Fotolia

One of the most invasive species on the planet is able to source food from the land as well as its usual food sources in the water, research from Queen Mary, University of London has found.

Scientists analyzed the  of red swamp crayfish in Kenya's Lake Naivasha and found that when the water level of the lake was low, the crayfish found additional food sources on land. The study was published in the journal PLoS ONE  August 3, 2012.

Lead author Dr Jonathan Grey from Queen Mary, University of London explained: "These crayfish are incredible survivors; our research shows they are able to feed off terrestrial plants directly, as well as aquatic plants -- the first study to demonstrate this.

"It has significant implications for anyone looking to introduce these species in other areas."

The research team looked at the diet of the crayfish through a technique called stable isotope analysis, where they used a natural chemical signal of diet in the species' tissues to determine what they were eating.

They found a proportion of the crayfish population had left the main lake and were surviving by burrowing in hippopotamus footprints which left small pools of water. After dark the crayfish clambered out from the footprints and grazed on the surrounding terrestrial plants.

"This study demonstrates how the red swamp crayfish is such an extraordinarily successful invader," Dr Grey said.

The red swamp crayfish has been introduced to multiple locations throughout East Africa from the 1960s to enhance fisheries and to attempt to control populations of snails which carry a parasite causing river blindness in humans.

"While they are useful to counteract other harmful species in ecosystems, they are also extremely damaging to fish populations and the balance of the food web. They eat plants, fish eggs, fly larvae, snails and leeches and since we have now shown that they are able to tap into extra resources from the land, they can sustain higher populations under adverse conditions such as low water and could cause more of a problem in a variety of environments than we initially thought."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Queen Mary, University of London. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jonathan Grey, Michelle C. Jackson. ‘Leaves and Eats Shoots’: Direct Terrestrial Feeding Can Supplement Invasive Red Swamp Crayfish in Times of Need. PLoS ONE, 2012; 7 (8): e42575 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0042575

Cite This Page:

Queen Mary, University of London. "Crayfish species proves to be the ultimate survivor." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 August 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120803193804.htm>.
Queen Mary, University of London. (2012, August 3). Crayfish species proves to be the ultimate survivor. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120803193804.htm
Queen Mary, University of London. "Crayfish species proves to be the ultimate survivor." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120803193804.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

AP (July 31, 2014) — Seacrest Wolf Preserve on the northern Florida panhandle allows more than 10,000 visitors each year to get up close and personal with Arctic and British Columbian Wolves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

AP (July 31, 2014) — With Florida's panther population rebounding, some ranchers complain the protected predators are once again killing their calves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Big Waves In Arctic Ocean Threaten Polar Ice

Big Waves In Arctic Ocean Threaten Polar Ice

Newsy (July 30, 2014) — Big waves in parts of the Arctic Ocean are unprecedented, mainly because they used to be covered in ice. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

AP (July 30, 2014) — Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins