Date of Graduation

Spring 2016


Master of Science in Biology



Committee Chair

John Havel


As invasive species are introduced into new habitats, predator-prey interactions can be altered. Cipangopaludina chinensis is a large snail that has been introduced into numerous waterbodies throughout the United States, where it coexists with native snails and their crayfish consumers. This study examined the relative susceptibility of C. chinensis and two native snails (Elimia potosiensis and Physella gyrina) to predation by the ringed crayfish (Orconectes neglectus). I conducted field surveys of snails and crayfish in three Ozark streams, plus a series of four lab experiments to determine feeding rates and prey preference by O. neglectus on these three snail species. Elimia potosiensis was often observed living near crayfish, but was rarely consumed regardless of snail size. Physella gyrina was easily consumed by crayfish, but was rarely found living near crayfish and exhibited avoidance behavior by crawling out of the water. Cipangopaludina chinensis was readily consumed by crayfish and exhibited no avoidance behavior. Although C. chinensis was previously reported from the James River, subsequent visits to the original site failed to find a single living individual of C. chinensis. Together, these data suggest that predation by native crayfish may be an important limit to the spread of C. chinensis populations in Ozark streams.


avoidance behavior, Cipangopaludina chinensis, Elimia potosiensis, Ozark streams, Physella gyrina, prey selection

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© Whitney Marie Kelley

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