Current Zoology(formerly Acta Zoologica Sinica),    2011, 57(3): 330 - 339
Title: Can native species crucian carp Carassius auratus recognizes the introduced red swamp crayfish Procambarus clarkii?
Authors: Fengjin CAI, Zhengjun WU, Nan HE, Zhenxing WANG, Chengming HUANG
 C o l l e g e   o f   L i f e   S c i e n c e ,   G u a n g x i   N o r m a l   U n i v e r s i t y , C h i n a 
Abstract:  Procambarus clarkii is native to the south-central United States (Louisiana) and northeastern Mexico, and is a highly efficient predator that poses a damager to native species after its introduction or invasion. In its natural habitat, P. clarkii consumes Carassius auratus, however, whether C. auratus recognizes P. clarkii as a predator is not yet clear. In laboratory experiments, we investigated whether experienced and inexperienced C. auratus recognize P. clarkii as a predatory threat and the specific sensory modality used by C. auratus to respond to chemical and visual stimuli from P. clarkii. In the chemical stimuli experiment, two kinds of chemical stimuli were used, water from a tub containing P. clarkii previously fed with C. auratus (C. auratus diet cues) and water from a tub containing unfed P. clarkii (P. clarkii cues). In the visual experiment, experienced C. auratus decreased activity, but inexperienced C.auratus avoided the predator compartment. When C. auratus diet cues were presented, both experienced and inexperienced C. auratus increased the use of shelter, decreased activity in the initial response phase. Compared with the blank treatment, experienced C. auratus responded to P. clarkii cues by decreasing activity; however, inexperienced C. auratus showed no reduction in activity. C. auratus appears to recognize P. clarkii as a predator both through visual and chemical cues. Further analysis revealed that C. auratus may recognize P. clarkii visually through the disturbances caused by P. clarkii movement and chemically by detecting conspecific alarm cues in the diet of P. clarkii. The results also indicate that experienced C. auratus can recognize P. clarkii by innate chemical cues from P. clarkii, whereas inexperienced C. auratus cannot [Current Zoology 57 (3): 330–339, 2011].
Keywords: Procambarus clarkii, Carassius auratus, Chemical cues, Visual cues, Non-native predator

*Correspondence should be addressed to Zhengjun WU (

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