| Potamon fluviatile lanfrancoi Capolongo & Cilia, 1990 |
| Taxonomical Classification: Animalia / Arthropoda / Crustacea / Decapoda / Potamidae |
| Maltese Fresh Water Crab Qabru|
| Further Information: |
A freshwater species living in lakes and rivers. This crab may be observed wandering out of water for short periods. Its size reaches up to 7 or 8cm. Locally it is found in Ba?rija, Imtahleb, San Martin and Lunzjata Valley (Gozo), where running water is present all year round. It hides under stones in the water among vegetation, or by retreating into burrows which it escavates in the mud or clay. It is however easily photographed. These burrows have two openings and exceed 50cm in depth, the internal part of which is often flooded. It is carnivorous and feeds on smaller animals including snails and tadpoles. Usually forages for food after sunset. Its eggs are big and the development is direct (without larval stage), like in crayfishes. Has disappeared from a number of valleys because of drying up or pollution of the springs, and because it is often caught by humans. Up to a century or so ago, it was used by poor people to make soup on fasting days. It apparently caused bowel movements. The subspecies lanfrancoi is endemic.
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