, Volume 71, Issue 4, pp 473-477

Spring mating period in Orconectes limosus: the reason for movement

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Abstract

Thirteen adult Orconectes limosus males (carapace length 32.5 ± 2.48 mm; weight 10.8 ± 2.63 g) were radio-tagged and tracked during and after the spring mating period, April–June 2008. Average distances moved per day were higher in the mating period (14.9 ± 21.4 m) due to mate searching activity. During the mating period, movement did not correlate with water temperature, and crayfish were active during daylight hours. They moved rapidly upstream and downstream, a maximum 118 and 95 m per day, respectively. When water temperature increased over 10°C, this initiated the end of mating and the start of spawning, and the spring migration abruptly ceased. An influence of water temperature on movements was observed during the non-reproductive period. Orconectes limosus was highly mobile in small watercourses, signifying a threat of penetration into native crayfish habitats, and potentially enabling the transmission of crayfish plague. This threat was increased during the mating period due to increased activity.