Common Name: Greensboro Burrowing Crayfish

Classification:  Special Concern




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National Range: “known only from the type locality (Greensboro, Guildford County)” (Hobbs Jr. 1989); now known to occur across a wider range in North Carolina (see McGrath 1994)

NC Physiographic Region(s): upper piedmont (Greensboro area to Uwharries); limits of range unclear

River Basin(s): upper Cape Fear (Haw River subdrainage only), central Yadkin-Pee Dee

Adult Habitat: “burrows (primary burrower)” (Hobbs Jr. 1989); "burrows along stream banks and in floodplain (lawns, etc.); a primary burrower which spends most of its life cycle in gallery systems in the subsurface water table” (NHP ICAS 1999)

Reproductive Season: late winter/early spring (?)

Species associates: C. reduncus

Conservation status: state-listed as Special Concern in North Carolina (J.E. Cooper and C. McGrath in Clamp 1999); considered by Taylor et al. (1996) to be Threatened

Identification references: Hobbs Jr. 1989; Hobbs Jr. 1991; also see description written by J.E. Cooper and C. McGrath in Clamp (1999)

Taxonomic Description:

  • body shape: dorsoventrally flattened but somewhat vaulted carapace
  • coloration:  shades of brown, tan, and green
  • spines: marginal and cephalic spines absent; branchiostegal and cervical spines very reduced or absent
  • rostrum: fairly wide with subparallel margins, converging at apex; no marginal spines
  • areola: narrow but not linear (bearing approx. 1 punctation)
  • chelae: large; with two rows of tubercles along mesial margin of palm; moderately developed dorsolongitudinal ridges on fingers; setae between fingers; movable finger angled toward fixed finger; chelae at angle to body
  • other characteristics: suborbital angle not acute
  • form I male gonopod: corneous central projection, sometimes with small subapical notch; mesial process sloping caudally

Notes:  does not create chimneys to its burrows

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.