Monday, April 27, 2009

The Connecticut World of Crayfish

By Alberto F. Mimo
This spring and summer I will be completing an inventory of Crayfish living in ponds and lakes in Connecticut, so during the last few weeks I have been setting up traps at a number of lakes in the northwest.
In the past I have been able to identify three separate genus: Procambarus, Cambarus and Orconectes . The State of Connecticut Fisheries has also come to the same conclusion. I have accounted for a total of 11 species. Most of our work has been concentrated in rivers and streams. Lakes and Ponds have not been thoroughly researched. Last week I read a paper published on the North Eastern Naturalist regarding the infestation of small ectosymbiont annelid known as a Branchiobdellida (Stuart R. Gelder, Lana Mcrry, and Evan Gwillian, North Eastern Naturalist, V 16, 2009, 45-52). As it happen two of the Crayfish collected from Bantam River were heavily infected with this annelid. Two species for the price of one! It appears that such an infestation has not been recorded in New England until now and it will be something to look after with all the climate changes we are experiencing.