The Cape River Crab – Potamonautes perlatus

According to Wikipedia the following:
Potamonautes perlatus is found in South Africa, particularly in the Cape Province. There are unconfirmed reports that it occurs in parts of Namibia. Its main habitat is rivers, but it does occur widely in farm dams, where it often is regarded as a pest, with a propensity for digging tunnels in earth dams. It is doubtful that this is a serious problem in professionally engineered dams, but there may be occasional damage to small farming earthworks. Possibly because of its being primarily a river crab, when it lives in farm dams without direct connection to a stream, it has a tendency to migrate out of a dam during rainy periods, especially at night. It is not clear that losses from this habit reduce its numbers however, as its populations in stable dams seem to remain indefinitely.

Ecologically the species often is quite important, as it is a detritus shredder, a predator of small fish and amphibians, and a major prey item for large fish, otters, aquatic reptiles, and various other animals. It also is an intermediate host to various parasites.

Cape River Crab

Cape River Crab

Article submitted by Christine Wakfer

About roncorylus

He who wants the kernel must crack the nut
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2 Responses to The Cape River Crab – Potamonautes perlatus

  1. jobiska says:

    An unusual creature to find in the Fernkloof Reserve. Let’s see what else is out there!

  2. Anina Lee says:

    Thanks – love the otter fodder.

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