North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

Cambarus (Punctiambarus) chaugaensis  Prins and Hobbs 1972

Common Name: Chauga Crayfish

Classification:  Special Concern



Additional Information


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National Range: “tributaries of the Savannah River in Oconee County, South Carolina, and Rabun County, Georgia” (Hobbs Jr. 1989); and in this drainage in North Carolina

NC Physiographic Region(s): southwestern mountains

River Basin(s): upper Savannah

Adult Habitat: “streams” (Hobbs Jr. 1989); "poorly known but apparently favors lotic waters of small to moderate size, flowing over rocky substrates" (Clamp 1999)

Reproductive Season: extended?

Species associates: C. bartonii; occurs with C. reburrusin Horsepasture subdrainage; otherwise does not occur with other Puncticambarus members

Conservation status: state-listed as Special Concern in North Carolina (J.E. Cooper in Clamp 1999); considered by Taylor et al. (1996) to be Endangered throughout its range

Identification references: Hobbs Jr. 1989; also see description by J.E. Cooper in Clamp (1999)

Taxonomic Description:

  • body shape: n/a
  • coloration: olive green with dark mottling, lighter color on underside; tips of fingers orangeish
  • spines: cervical spines small, cephalic spines weak, branchiostegal spines strong
  • rostrum: somewhat long and acuminate but broad
  • areola: very wide and punctate
  • chelae: somewhat robust; well-developed dorsolongitudinal ridges;double row of tubercles on mesial margin of palm
  • other characteristics: acute suborbital angle
  • form I male gonopod: terminal elements of similar length; corneous central projection with subapical notch; mesial process inflated basally and tapering but not perfectly pointed

Notes:  resembles C. bartonii

Crayfish Regulations (PDF)

According to NC General Statue and NCWRC Regulation, it is unlawful to stock any fish (including shellfish and crustaceans) into public waters without a WRC permit.  It is also unlawful to transport, purchase, possess, or sell any live individuals of virile crayfish (Orconectes (Gremicambarus) virilis), rusty crayfish (Orconectes (Procericambarus) rusticus), Australian “red claw” crayfish (Cherax quadricarinatus) or other species of “giant” crayfish species.

Illustrations are reproduced with the permission of the Smithsonian Institution Press. We are grateful to them for allowing us to provide this useful information with the other materials provided herein. We also wish to recognize the tremendous contribution to crayfish biology by the author/artist, the late Horton H. Hobbs Jr.

The following illustration is reproduced from:
Hobbs Jr., H. H. 1989. An illustrated checklist of the American crayfishes (Decapoda: Astacidae, Cambaridae, and Parastacidae). Washington, D.C., Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology, Number 480:1-236.

        Credit NCWRC for all photos.