Common Name: No common name

Classification:  Nongame Fish - Crustacean




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National Range: “piedmont and coastal plain from the Tar and Cape Fear basins in North Carolina southwardto the Altamaha and Apalachicola basins in Georgia and Florida, westward to the Coosa Basin in Alabama” (Hobbs Jr. 1989); blue ridge province in Tennessee (Williams and Bivens 1996)

NC Physiographic Region(s): eastern piedmont plateau, coastal plain

River Basin(s): Cape Fear, Hiwassee (see notes below), Neuse, Northeast Cape Fear, Tar-Pamlico, Waccamaw, White Oak

Adult Habitat: “small to moderately large streams and burrows”(Hobbs Jr. 1989); “small to medium size streams, in pools, under rocks, in leaf litter, and burrows(secondary burrower)” (Williams and Bivens 1996); clear or swampy streams or ditches and burrows along stream banks and in floodplain: in leaf debris along bank, in leaf and log debris in deeper runs and pools, in riffles and runs with gravel and cobble substrate

Reproductive Season: late fall, early winter

Species associates: many

Conservation status:  not protected

Identification references: Cooper 1999, Hobbs Jr. 1989, Hobbs Jr. 1991

Taxonomic Description:

  • body shape: cylindrical or subcylindrical
  • coloration: often (but not always) possessing double stripes(dark reddish or dark brown or green in color) on dorsal abdomen; other coloration in shades of brown and cream or tan and greenish; some mottling and saddle pattern; cobalt blue morph captured in 1982 (Cooper and Braswell 1995)
  • spines: cervical spines, branchiostegal spines, cephalic spines,and marginal spines present; most spines not terribly strong
  • rostrum: having marginal spines or notches at base of acumen;margins converging; squarish and broad in general with small acumen
  • areola: fairly narrow, having approx. 2-5 punctations across narrowest part
  • chelae: generally robust; with two rows of strong tubercles along mesial margin of palm; mesial margin of palm short; dorsal and ventral surfaces of palm with large tubercles; moderately developed dorsolongitudinal ridges on fingers
  • other characteristics: suborbital angle acute or nearly so
  • form I male gonopod: corneous central projection lacking subapical notch (or shallow, if present); mesial process tapered, tip rounded rather than pointed

Notes:  a population assigned to this species was collected from the Hiwassee basin (and nearby areas of Georgia and Tennessee) but further sampling effort produced no crayfish of this species (Cooper and Braswell 1995) until examination of a sample collected in 1982in Cherokee County (Cooper et al. 1998)

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.