New Zealand Journal of Ecology (1994) 18(1): 1- 10

Antipredator Behaviors of a Fresh-Water Crayfish (Paranephrops zealandicus) to a Native and an Introduced Predator

Research Article
Cathy R. Shave 1
Colin R. Townsend 1
Todd A. Crowl 1,2
  1. Zoology Department, University of Otago, P.O. Box 56, Dunedin, New Zealand
  2. Present address: College of Natural Resources, Utah State University, Logan, Utah, USA

The anti-predator behaviours of a New Zealand freshwater crayfish (Paranephrops zealandicus) to the native long-finned eel (Anguilla dieffenbachii) and the introduced brown trout (Salmo trutta) were investigated. Crayfish modified their behaviour in the presence of both trout and eels. However, a significantly greater number of defensive chela displays and swimming responses were made to eels than trout. Crayfish were able to use chemical cues from skin mucus to detect eels but not trout. Paranephrops zealandicus is able to make some appropriate defensive behavioural responses to the introduced brown trout as well as to its native predator, the long-finned eel. However, crayfish may be at greater risk from the introduced predator because of their apparent inability to detect trout using non-contact chemical cues. This may be a reflection of the different co-evolutionary histories crayfish have had with trout and eels.