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Procambrus clarkii (Crustacea: Cambaridae) a Biological Control Agent against four intermediate host snails in Egypt

Salwa Hamdi, Mona Fol.

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Heterophyasis is a chronic parasitic disease infecting fish eaten by man. One of strategies to eradicate parasitic diseases is the bio-control of its vector snails. Lab experiments and field survey have been carried out to investigate the impact and the relationship between the exotic crayfish; Procambarus clarkii, two freshwater snails (Pirenella conica and Cleopatra bulimoides) and other two land snails (Monacha cartusiana and Eobania vermiculata) in Egypt. In the Lab, these snails and clover Lactuca sativa species were reported to serve as food for freshwater crayfish. The results of the experimental Lab indicated that the vector snails; Pirenella conica and Eobania vermiculata were the type of food of first choice for the crayfish after clover followed by Cleopatra bulimoides but P. clarkii show no preference against Monacha cartusiana as type of food. So our investigations indicated that P. clarkii can effectively control or eliminate certain freshwater snail species, including those involved in the transmission of human Heterophyasis. Therefore, P. clarkii appeared to offer hope as a biological control agent of snail-transmitted diseases in selected habitats in Egypt.

Key words: Procambarus clarkii; Pirenella conica; Cleopatra bulimoides; Monacha cartusiana; Eobania vermiculata

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