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Differential Growth in Body and Chela Size Following Molts to Form I and Form II in the Crayfish, Orconectes Rusticus (Decapoda, Cambaridae)

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The presence of two male morphs in crayfishes of the family Cambaridae is well established, but the selective value of this trait is unknown. Measurements of growth following molts to Form I and Form II were used to examine the hypothesis that alternating between the two molts may serve as an adaptation allowing animals to efficiently increase overall body size. The results revealed that the change in carapace length was significantly greater in animals molting to Form II, whereas changes in chela length and width were significantly greater in animals molting to Form I. These differences allow animals to maximally increase body length when molting to Form II and maximally increase chela size when molting to Form I. La présence de deux morphotypes chez les écrevisses de la famille des cambaridés est bien établie, mais la valeur sélective de ce trait est inconnue. Des mesures de croissance, suivant la mue de la Forme I à la Forme II ont été utilisées pour examiner l'hypothèse que l'alternance entre deux types de mues pourrait servir comme stratégie adaptative permettant à l'animal d'accroître efficacement sa taille générale. Les résultants révèlent que les changements dans la longueur de la carapace ont été significativement plus élevés chez les animaux qui muent en Forme II, alors que la longueur et largeur de la pince ont été significativement plus élevées chez les animaux qui muent en Forme I. Ces différences permettent aux animaux de maximaliser l'accroissement de leur taille à la mue vers la Forme II, et celle de leur pince à la mue vers la Forme I.

Affiliations: 1: Neuroscience Program, Department of Psychology, Colgate University, Hamilton, New York 13346, U.S.A.;, Email:


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