OK, they’re not crayfish but crabs are mentioned on page 1 so I’ll post here.
We had forgotten about this until today, out for a walk, we heard our dog crunch something between his teeth and there was a crab leg. It may have been the remains of one from before.
A few months back, we were on a walk with our dog and were on a footpath (viz. Google Earth 43° 13’ 58.40”N 27° 24’44.17”E) at about 100m from the Provadiski river (and 40km from the Black Sea). There is also a ditch running along the side of the pathway but no water in it, as far as we can tell.
We had actually been past the spot already, towards the railway line to the south, not noticing anything, and had turned round and were on our way back when we came across about seven or eight crabs. They were spread out over a distance of three or four metres and appeared to be heading from the ditch, West towards the river. The bodies were about 4 cm x 3 cm, perhaps a bit smaller. A couple of them were (appeared to be) dead but we scooped up the others and because, naively perhaps, we assumed they were heading for the river, we took them there and dumped them on the bank, by the water and they made their way towards it. We can’t really remember what they were like, exactly. We aren’t experts on crabs and they just appeared to be the standard (small) reddish/brown crabs with whitish legs, whatever that is.
What we didn’t understand is what they were doing there. The trackway is part of a network that runs to and from Provadia and ostensibly off-road traffic (donkeys/horses and carts) could travel along it (past Zlatina) to Venchan so, in theory, someone could have left them there but no one could have come along the track when we were on it. It is possible that a local, fishing in the Provadiski, had caught them and then dumped them there but a) we don’t even know if there is such a thing as freshwater crab in that river and b) why catch them and then dump them 100m away?
We’ve done some research on freshwater crabs (i.e. looked at pictures on http://www.google.bg/images
) and discovered Potamons but there are about eighteen different species and only information for about two or three http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potamon
. It was surprising to see that there could be freshwater crab in this neck of the woods and Potamon ibericum http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potamon_ibericum
could fit the bill as they can use burrows several km from water but we thought they were redder than that (perhaps they were the babies making a run for it).
Anyone else come across something like this?