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Intermittently connected mobile cognitive radio ad hoc networks (IMCRNs) are promising wireless networks in which mobile unlicensed nodes use their temporarily available contacts and vacant licensed channels for end-to-end message delivery. In this paper, we propose biological foraging-inspired communication (BFC) algorithm for the energy-efficient and spectrum-aware communication requirements in IMCRNs. BFC is based on two profitability measures called relay selection profitability (RSP) and channel selection profitability (CSP). RSP and CSP provide an autonomous decision-making mechanism that does not need any a priori information on node mobility and spectrum availability patterns. This decision-making mechanism also leads to an optimization procedure to determine optimal relay and channel selection rules. Performance evaluations reveal that BFC enables each node to determine and regulate its transmission strategy to provide minimum energy consumption without sacrificing end-to-end delay performance. BFC also maximizes overall spectrum utilization in a way that any idle channel is always allocated by a node within a delay bound.