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The Species of June 2014

2014.06_Potamon potamiosName: Potamon potamios
Scientific name: Potamon potamios – Olivier 1804
Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Malacostraca
Order: Decapoda
Family: Potamidae  

It is a medium or large freshwater crab with brown colors. Its shell is covered with an organic substance, which is secreted by the subcutaneous tissue and which is impregnated with calcium carbonate salts, as a result of which it hardens and becomes a real shield. It is smooth and shiny but has a slight inclination to the side. Adults change it once a year (clothing) so that the new shell adapts to the currently developed body. The two powerful front calipers may not be exactly the same and when closed they do not close completely but leave a small opening.

It lives near streams, lakes, rivers and generally on wet ground near water. It can even be found near irrigation systems or in swimming pools.
It feeds on small mollusks, dead fish, worms, snails and algae.

It occurs in the spring when the water temperature exceeds +18. C. Incubation lasts 20-30 days.

It is found in the Mediterranean, the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea, in the Aegean islands (Crete, Naxos, Karpathos, Samos, Ikaria, Kos), in Cyprus, Jordan, Turkey, Syria, Israel.

Crows, hedgehogs, otters, ivy or big fishes. It is also at risk from pollution (insecticide use) and drought.

[1] http://zooclub.ru

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org
[3] http://www.iucnredlist.org

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