FRESHWATER CRAYFISH | 2008| vol. 16| Research Article
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Full Citation: Gherardi F and Barbaresi S (2008). Feeding opportunism of the red swamp crayfish, Procambarus clarkii, and invasive species. Freshwater Crayfish 16: 77-85.
We analyzed the feeding behavior of the red swamp crayfish, Procambarus clarkii, by assessing the composition and quantity of the diet of invasive populations inhabiting three different aquatic systems in southern Europe. Gut content analyses showed that this species, regardless of sex, season, and site, consumes relatively large quantities of organic detritus and plants, particularly non-green portions of macrophytes. Conversely, animal remains found in the crayfish’s guts (including terrestrial insects, mosquitofish, and conspecifics) were scarce as a confirmation of previous studies suggesting that the adults of this species are seldom zoophagous. The taxonomic composition of the ingested plants varied across sites and seasons in accordance with the diverse species dominating in each individual habitat. These results are clear in showing P. clarkii’s ability in adjusting its feeding behavior to the prey items available in the colonized habitats.
Keywords: diet; feeding behavior; invasive crayfish; Procambarus clarkii; opportunism
Article Language: English
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