Two rare species of crayfishes live in Harghita

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Two very rare species of crayfishes, from an inferior crayfishes group live in the temporary ponds of still water in the Romanian Harghita County (central) and represent a real attraction for researchers interested in the field.

Biologist Laszlo Demeter, Lecturer at the Sapientia University based in Miercurea Ciuc has been studying the two rare species of crayfish in Romania for a long time, with specialist in general considering them very spectacular.

Laszlo Demeter explained Agerpres these species belong to an old group of crayfishes, which underwent not so many changes in their evolution.

The crayfishes received no Romanian names, with the biologist from Harghita using the translation of their names from German and Hungarian.

One of those two species is called the ‘green crayfish’, named thus for the male’s body is green, with the other being called ‘the Hanko crayfish’, named after a famous Hungarian biologist.

The „Hanko crayfish” was identified in 12 habitats in the Ciucului Depression and has a life cycle of approx. one month.

The green crayfish is more frequent, having been found in approx. 60 habitats, with a life cycle of two months.

In spring, the eggs are spawned in the temporary ponds, with crayfishes living live till they spawn them, after which they die, following that in the next spring the eggs that did not hatch the first time to hatch in a new cycle.

‘The eggs resist to extreme temperatures, either hot or cold. Moreover, they did not hatch after the spring is gone, even is the pond refills with water, for they have a system telling them when the next spring truly came,’ Laszlo Demeter explained.

The biologist from Harghita considers these living fossils could be exploited for tourism, the same as it happens in Austria or the U.S.

‘The two species are very spectacular and are practically similar to the ones that had lived in Paleozoic. In the U.S, the eggs of more common species are sold and bred by aquarium owners,’ the biologist explained.

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