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The Taxonomic Status of the Introduced North American Signal Crayfish, Pacifastacus Leniusculus (Dana, 1852) In Japan, and the Source of Specimens in the Newly Reported Population in Fukushima Prefecture

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An alien crayfish, Pacifastacus leniusculus (Dana, 1852), was introduced in Japan from North America, and populations have survived in Hokkaido and Shiga Prefecture. Detailed morphological analyses suggested that the subspecific division in P. leniusculus that was previously proposed in the U.S.A., is not consistent in the Japanese populations, because intermediate and overlapping subspecific diagnostic characters were frequently found. Recently, P. leniusculus was illegally introduced into Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. In order to track down the origin of the new population, the detailed morphology of the P. leniusculus specimens as well as the species composition of their ectosymbiotic crayfish worms (Annelida, Clitellata, Branchiobdellidae) were examined and compared with those in two previously introduced populations in Hokkaido and Shiga Prefecture. Crayfish from Hokkaido and Fukushima Prefecture have a relatively long rostrum that differs from that found on specimens from Shiga Prefecture. In addition, the crayfish worm, Sathodrilus attenuatus Holt, 1981, occurs only in the Hokkaido and Fukushima Prefecture populations, thus suggesting the crayfish in Fukushima were introduced from Hokkaido. The shape of the rostrum and the presence of the crayfish worm can be used as tools for tracing the spreading of introduced P. leniusculus in Japan. Une écrevisse étrangère, Pacifastacus leniusculus (Dana, 1852) a été introduite au Japon en provenance de l'Amérique du Nord et des populations ont survécu dans les préfectures d'Hokkaido et de Shiga. Une analyse morphologique détaillée suggère que la division en sous-espèces de P. leniusculus, précédemment proposée aux U.S.A., n'est pas justifiée pour les populations du Japon, parce que des caractères diagnostiques subspécifiques intermédiaires y ont été trouvés. Récemment, P. leniusculus a été illégalement introduite dans la préfecture de Fukushima, au Japon. Afin de retrouver l'origine de cette nouvelle population, la morphogie détaillée des spécimens de P. leniusculus ainsi que la composition spécifique de leurs ectosymbiotes (Annelida, Clitellata, Branchiobdellidae) ont été examinées et comparées à ceux des populations précédemment introduites dans les préfectures de Hokkaido et de Shiga. Les écrevisses d'Hokkaido et de Fukushima ont un rostre relativement long qui diffère de celui des écrevisses de Shiga. De plus, le symbiote Sathodrilus attenuatus Holt, 1981 n'est présent que dans les populations d'Hokkaido et de Fukushima, ce qui suggère donc que les écrevisses de Fukushima proviendraient d'Hokkaido. La forme du rostre et la présence du ver ectosymbiotique ci-dessus signalé peuvent être utilisés comme outils pour repérer la propagation des P. leniusculus introduites au Japon.


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