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AGGRESSIVE INTERACTIONS BETWEEN THE CRAYFISHES CAMBARUS BARTONII BARTONII AND C. ROBUSTUS (DECAPODA: CAMBARIDAE): INTERSPECIFIC AND INTRASPECIFIC CONTESTS

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ABSTRACT In the Province of Ontario, Canada, the two closely related crayfish species, Cambarus bartonii bartonii and Cambarus robustus, appear to have similar habitat requirements and similar, asynchronous life cycles, but largely nonoverlapping distributions. The analysis of the interspecific agonistic contests between size-matched males of these two species showed that C. robustus were clearly dominant over C. b. bartonii of similar size. At the same time, C. robustus performed significantly more Lunge and Claws Raised initiation behaviors than C. b. bartonii, during these contests. These two initiation behaviors were strongly indicative of dominant status during intraspecific contests of C. robustus. Cambarus robustus behaved more aggressively toward C. b. bartonii than toward other conspecifics. Cambarus b. bartonii performed significantly more tail-flip escape behaviors than C. robustus. Juvenile C. robustus were dominant over adult C. b. bartonii in a majority of these contests. The clear dominance of C. robustus over C. b. bartonii during agonistic contests, and the apparent recent expansion of the range of C. robustus in Ontario, sometimes at the expense of C. b. bartonii, suggest that C. robustus has the potential to competitively exclude C. b. bartonii, if the two species are in competition for limited resources such as shelters.

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/content/journals/10.1163/193724099x00330
1999-01-01
2016-12-09

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