Common Name: Carolina Ladle Crayfish

Classification:  Nongame Fish - Crustacean



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National Range: “Apparently limited to the upper Neuse and Cape Fear river basins in the eastern Piedmont Plateau of North Carolina” (Cooper 2000a).

NC Physiographic Region(s): eastern upper piedmont

River Basin(s): upper Cape Fear, upper Neuse

Adult Habitat: streams (under larger rocks) and burrows

Reproductive Season: mate from spring through winter, spawn in early spring

Species associates: C. (D.) latimanus, C. (P.) sp. C,and C. (D.) reduncus (however, usually collected alone)

Conservation status: undetermined because it was only recently described

Identification and Illustration references: Cooper 2000a

Taxonomic Description:

  • body shape: carapace vaulted, similar in shape to C.bartonii
  • coloration:  dark olive, sometimes light brown with orange or tan overtones, tubercles tan to orangeish
  • spines:cervical spines reduced to multiple tubercles, branchiostegal spine weak, tuberculate hepatic region
  • rostrum: acarinate and deeply concave, margins elevated and subparallel, constricted at base of acumen, lacking marginal spines ortubercles
  • areola: narrow-medium in width, sparsely punctate with 2-3 punctations across narrowest part
  • chelae: medium-heavy, mesial margin with usually 2 rows of tubercles,well-defined dorsolongitudinal ridges
  • other characteristics: suborbital angle obtuse to obsolete
  • form I male gonopod: terminal elements short; corneous central projection truncated and with subapical notch, curved over 90 degrees to plane of shaft; mesial process; mesial process bulbous, slightly constricted at based of caudal third, apex extending slightly further than central projection

Notes: only member of this subgenus in these endemic North Carolina river basins; closest relative is likely in Roanoke River Basin

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.

        Credit NCWRC for all photos.