none none 2396-9814 Current Zoology Color variation in signal crayfish Pacifastacus leniusculus Roberto Sacchi Stefania Cancian Daniela Ghia Gianluca Fea Alan Coladonato Zhi-Yun Jia 67 1 35 2021 full_text 10.1093/cz/zoaa031 FRESHWATER CRAYFISH: Ontogenetic color change in the crayfish <i>Cambarus b. bartonii</i> and <i>Faxonius obscurus</i>: a test of Ortmann's hypotheses
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Freshwater Crayfish 23(1): 59-63 (2017)


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Ontogenetic color change in the crayfish Cambarus b. bartonii and Faxonius obscurus: a test of Ortmann's hypotheses

Hartzell SM  e-mail link

Published Online: 12/31/2017


In crayfish, intraspecific coloration can vary due to a variety of factors such as diet, genetic variation, environment, and ontogeny. Ortmann (1906) hypothesized that the crayfish Cambarus bartonii bartonii and Faxonius obscurus exhibit an ontogenetic shift in color change, with greener coloration in younger individuals of both species diminishing with age in larger specimens. However, this hypothesis has never been quantitatively tested. This work incorporated digital image analysis to quantify coloration of samples of C. b. bartonii and F. obscurus collected from two locations, respectively, in an eastern Pennsylvania stream. Examination for relationships between coloration (percent “green dominance”, i.e., the proportion of green in comparison to blue and red in photographs) and body size did not reveal any significant relationship between these variables in either crayfish species. Therefore, this study does not support the presence of ontogenetic color change in C. b. bartonii and F. obscurus, and suggests intraspecific variation of color in both species may be primarily influenced by other factors.

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How to Cite

Hartzell SM. (2017). Ontogenetic color change in the crayfish Cambarus b bartonii and Faxonius obscurus: a test of Ortmann's hypotheses. Freshwater Crayfish 23(1):59-63. doi: 10.5869/fc.2017.v23-1.59



Author Information

Sean M. Hartzell,* Department of Biological and Allied Health Sciences, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, 260 Edgar Avenue, Bloomsburg, PA, United States17815. E-mail:

Corresponding Author indicated by an *.


Publication History

   Manuscript Submitted: 12/1/2017

   Manuscript Accepted: 12/22/2017

   Published Online: 12/31/2017

   Published in Print: 12/31/2017



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No specific funding statement is available for this article.






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