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Are Claw and Antenna Lengths Characteristics of Sexual Selection in Orconectues Rusticus?

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Are Claw and Antenna lengths characteristics of Sexual Selection in Orconectues rusticus?

INTRODUCTION

The Orconectes rusticus, otherwise known as the Rusty Crayfish, originated from a native range in the Ohio River and other tributaries, centuries ago. It’s introduction to other habitats is largely attributable to it’s use as fishing bait, moving the species from New Mexico to Maine in the United States and as far north as the Province of Ontario and Manitoba. Rusty crayfish in Ontario were first noted in 1963 in the Lake of the Woods, and have since then have been found in Kawartha Lakes Region, Lake Superior watershed, expanding down the Winnipeg River, into Manitoba. As a study of Trent University, these Rusty Crayfish are easy accessible due to the fact that the Otonabee River, a rich habitat for this species, runs right through campus. This species have specific morphological features. Typically, adult O. rusticus reaches a maximum of 11 cm. Males have some different characteristics than females but most appear to have dark “rusty” spots that are apparent on the side of their bodies. (CITATION) These characteristics may differ due to many reasons, one in which may be because the Darwinian theory of sexual selection. This implies that since the female of a species invests so much time in each of her offspring it would be an advantage to choose a particular mate with, making sure that her offspring becomes as fit as possible. On the other hand, a male species invests little time on it’s offspring so therefore should mate with as many females as possible because there is no need to be picky about who he mates with. (S. Simpkons, D. Beresford, D. Mckay, 2012) That being said, it is of interest to know if Orconectes rusticus differ in certain features because of sexual selection. The objective of this study is to determine whether or not 2 chosen features…...

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