Common Name: Carolina Needlenose Crayfish

Classification:  Nongame Fish - Crustacean



National Range: The Catawba and Saluda river basins of North and South Carolina (Cooper and Price 2010)

NC Physiographic Region(s): Piedmont Plateau

River Basin(s): Catawba

Distribution: Upper Piedmont and Foothills, Burke and Caldwell counties.

Adult Habitat: Found under, or near, rock outcroppings (Cooper and Price 2010)

Reproductive Season: unknown; Form I males seen in June and July.

Species associates: P. (O.) acutus, C. (D.) latimanus, C. (C.) cf. howardi, C. sp. C

Conservation status: not protected

Identification references: Cooper and Price 2010

Taxonomic Description:

  • body shape:subcylindrical, moderately depressed
  • coloration: ground color olivaceous orgreenish-gray; dorsal surface of chela is aquamarine
  • spines: hepatic spines; cervical spine;strong branchiostegal spine; cephalic spine or tubercle
  • rostrum: long, narrow, lanceolate rostrum; narrow margins that strongly converge from base to cephalodorsally directed apical spine
  • areola: 4-7 punctations across narrowest part
  • chelae: mesial margin of palm with double row of tubercles; fingers moderately to strongly gaping; strong longitudinal ridges
  • other characteristics: suborbitalangle obtuse to subacute
  • form I male gonopod: shaft straight; central projection not tapered, curvedover 90° to plane of shaft, with moderate subapical notch; mesial processbulbous, tapered, constricted near tip, and directed caudolaterally; disklike caudal knob at base of central projection


Notes: “Morphologically,it is most similar to C. (P.) hobbsorumand C. (P.) hystricosus” (Cooper and Price 2010).  First known occurrence in North Carolina wasdiscovered in Johns River sub-basin in 2012.

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.

The following illustration is reproduced from:

Cooper, J.E., and J.E. Price. 2010. A new spinose crayfish of the genus Cambarus, subgenus Puncticambarus (Decapoda: Cambaridae), from South Carolina. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington.123(4):335-344.



Fig. 1. Cambarus (Puncticambarus) aldermanorum. All from holotypic male, form I (NCSM 26535), except B, C, from morphotypic male, form II (NCSM 26536), and I, from allotypic female (NCSM 26537). A, Lateral aspect of carapace; B, E, Mesial aspect of left gonopod (first pleopod); C, F, Lateral aspect of left gonopod; D, Dorsal aspect of carapace; G, Caudal aspect of in situ gonopods; H, Epistome; I, Annulus ventralis and postannular sclerite; J, Dorsal aspect of right antennal scale; K, Dorsal aspect of distal podomeres of right cheliped. Setae not illustrated. Scale lines 5 2 mm.













        Credit NCWRC for all photos.