Substrate Preference in Orconectes Rusticus : Does Size Matter?
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In Wisconsin, the aggressive and prolific rusty crayfish, Orconectus rusticus, can deprive native crayfish of habitat (Capelli, 1982). In particular, the use of rocky substrate shelter is vital for providing crayfish protection from predators. Yet little is known about how substrate preferences affect habitat use by rusty and native crayfish. To better understand how O. rusticus select and utilize rocky substrates, we undertook a series of experiments to determine if substrate size and color affected habitat choice by rusty crayfish.