The reproduction of the alien crayfish species Pacifastacus leniusculus inhabiting Lake Shikaribetsu, Hokkaido, Japan, was studied from August 2002 to August 2003. Spawning was for a short period after mating in mid October. The eggs developed to eyed stage in June the following year and hatched in mid July. After remaining with their mother for several weeks, the juveniles became independent between late July and August. The egg numbers attached to pleopods of this crayfish significantly increased with the female body size. The time of spawning in Lake Shikaribetsu was similar to that of this crayfish living in North America and Europe reported by previous studies, but the time of egg hatching was later in Lake Shikaribetsu compared with some populations in North America and Europe. A comparison of our results of the reproduction of P. leniusculus with that of the endangered Japanese endemic crayfish species Cambaroides japonicus reported by previous studies showed that P. leniusculus has a markedly higher reproductive ability than C. japonicus in terms of egg numbers.
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Vol. 24 • No. 3