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Freshwater Crayfish 21(1): 71-82 (2015)


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Utilization of pit telemetry to assess microhabitat affinities of stream-dwelling female crayfish during reproductive seclusion

Black TR, Mattingly HT and Smith DD  e-mail link

Published Online: 12/31/2015


Stream habitat-use of female crayfish during brooding of eggs and hatchlings is a poorly studied aspect of crayfish life history and ecology. Our goal was to use passive integrated transponder (PIT) technology to describe diurnal habitat-use patterns of females of two crayfish species during reproductive seclusion. PIT tags were externally attached to female Cambarus friaufi in Pine Creek, Tennessee, USA and Orconectes meeki meeki in Rock Creek, Missouri, USA. Crayfish were tracked with a portable detector and habitatuse was assessed in 2008 for C. friaufi and 2009 for O. m. meeki. PIT tags proved to be a highly effective tool for relocating crayfish, with = 85% of tagged individuals located at least once. Substrate roughness was identified as the most important variable for both species during brooding, followed by additional substrate-related variables, water velocity, and water depth. Cambarus friaufi, however, was more of a generalist and used microhabitat variables in close proportion to availability, whereas O. m. meeki showed more specialized use of brooding habitat variables. Our results suggest that female crayfish reproductive seclusion is closely linked to sufficiently heterogeneous substrate. Reductions in substrate quality could potentially alter crayfish reproductive capacity, thus impacting biodiversity and productivity of streams.

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How to Cite

Black TR, Mattingly HT and Smith DD. (2015). Utilization of pit telemetry to assess microhabitat affinities of stream-dwelling female crayfish during reproductive seclusion. Freshwater Crayfish 21(1):71-82. doi: 10.5869/fc.2015.v21-1.71



Author Information

Tyler R. Black,* Inland Fisheries, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, 1718 NC Hwy 56 W, Creedmoor, NC, USA27522. E-mail:

Hayden T. Mattingly, Biology, Tennessee Technological University, Box 5063, Cookeville, TN, USA38505. E-mail:

David D. Smith, Mathematics, Tennessee Technological University, Box 5054, Cookeville, TN, USA38505. E-mail:

Corresponding Author indicated by an *.


Publication History

   Manuscript Submitted: 6/7/2015

   Manuscript Accepted: 11/16/2015

   Published Online: 12/31/2015

   Published in Print: 12/31/2015



Funding Information

No specific funding statement is available for this article.






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