New crayfish that doesn't need males to mate becomes all-powerful

New crayfish that doesn't need males to mate becomes all-powerful
From BBC - February 12, 2018

A new species of all-female crayfish able to reproduce without males is multiplying rapidly and invading ecosystems across the world.

A new study found that the marbled crayfish is descended from a single female with a mutation that allows it to reproduce by itself.

The self-cloning creatures are for sale in Canada, despite a warning against keeping the pests as pets.

The ten-legged mutant is already banned by the European Union.

Procambarus virginalis did not exist three decades ago but they have now been found in the wild in Japan, Madagascar, Sweden and the US.

A new study published in Nature, Ecology and Evolution describes the invasive species as a threat to wild ones, including seven native species in Madagascar.

"If you have one animal, essentially, three months later, you will have 200 or 300," Dr Wolfgang Stein, one of the researchers, told Canadian public broadcaster CBC.

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Curiously, by studying the freshwater crayfish's successful ability to self-clone, scientists may be able to better understand how cancer spreads.

The crustaceans can be bought in some pet shops in Canada and through online adverts. One online seller offered a one-inch self-cloning marbled crayfish for free and five larger ones for C$20 ($16; 11.50).

Mutant crayfish: What's the background?


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