RE: NANFA-- Fish and Crayfish Burrow Coexistance- Was Erymozon

Bruce Stallsmith (
Thu, 06 Apr 2000 09:52:38 EDT

Thank you Jan, this is a serious literature search waiting to happen. I
should have known that pre-modelling Ecology or American Midland Naturalist
would have some reference(s) to this.

Another research area of symbiosis that I haven't seen in print since the
70s is the utilization of one fish species' nest by other species. This is
documented between different species of cyprinids, but I have reason to
believe from my own experiences that it is much more common than usually
thought, especially involving _Lepomis_ species' nests. In particular, I
collected rocks with adhesive eggs from several bluegill nests in a
Massachusetts pond, incubated the eggs, and all the fry that hatched
appeared to be alewife herring. I lost most of this evidence because of a
spaced-out faculty advisor (long story) and didn't have a chance to
systematically track it down again. This would be interesting because the
male bluegill would presumably be guarding a nest with maybe a majority of
alewife fry, rather than his own. This is the kind of evolutionary ecology
which could make solid contributions to our understanding of aquatic
community ecology in North America (to say nothing of the much more poorly
understood tropical systems...). You don't even need much money to do this
kind of work!

--Bruce Stallsmith
deep in Huntsville, AL

>The topic of crayfish burrow co-habitants came up once before. Its not
>well-documented but there are at least two short articles on the subject.
>suspect there are more, especially in the older natural history literature,
>but I have never gotten around to looking for this kind of information. The
>two articles that I have seen are:
>Creaser, E.P. 1931. Some cohabitants of burrowing crayfish. Ecology 12:
>243-244. [Invertebrates]
>Neill, W.T. 1951. Notes on the role of crawfishes in the ecology of
>reptiles, amphibians, and fishes. Ecology 32: 764-766.
>[Fishes - I believe that study was based on a combination of direct
>observations of excavated burrows and on fish seen in previously dry ponds,
>but am not sure. Have not looked at this article in a couple of years]
>Here is a list of some organisms known to share crayfish burrows: seed
>shrimp, copepods, amphipods, bluefin killifish, pirate perch, banded pygmy
>sunfish, tadpole madtoms. Suspected crawdad roomies include: mosquitofish
>and grass pickerel.
>Also - I've seen golden topminnow and flagfish miraculously appear in
>formerly, dry isolated wetlands in near Tampa, Florida and susected that
>they may have been lurking in burrows.

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