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data for MacKay, R.N. and Moore, P.A. 2021. Parasites differentially impact crayfish personality in different contexts. Behaviour 158(10): 921-943.

The expression of an individual animal’s behaviour can be placed along many different personality spectra. Parasite load can alter animal behaviour and, thus, fitness. The personality traits of rusty crayfish, Faxonius rusticus, were analysed in three different behavioural contexts: foraging, exploration, and threatened. Each crayfish was tested in each context 3 times, giving a total of 9 assays per crayfish. After assays were completed, crayfish were dissected, and the hepatopancreas of each crayfish was photo analysed to determine the parasite load of the trematode, Microphallus spp. A composite personality score for each assay and parasite load was loaded into a PCA. The PCA model showed that as parasite load increased, crayfish became bolder in threatening contexts and less exploratory in novel environments, whether or not a food stimulus was present. Thus, parasite load alters the placement of crayfish on different personality spectra, but this change is context specific.

Data and Resources

Release Date
Spatial / Geographical Coverage Area
POINT (-84.751227004454 45.564032872011)
Temporal Coverage
Friday, May 1, 2020 - 00:00 to Monday, August 17, 2020 - 00:00
Paul A. Moore
Contact Name
Paul A. Moore
Contact Email
Public Access Level
Publication Date: 
Thursday, February 9, 2023