Common Name: Valley River Crayfish

Classification:  Nongame Fish - Crustacean




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National Range: Known only from Cherokee and Clay counties, North Carolina (Cooper 2006)

NC Physiographic Region(s): Southwestern Blue Ridge Mountains

River Basin(s): Hiwassee

Adult Habitat: Small to medium-sized streams with cobble-dominated substrata (Simmons and Fraley 2008)

Reproductive Season: late spring to fall

Species associates: C. (C.) bartonii, C. (P.) parrishi, C. (P.) hiwasseensis

Conservation status: not protected

Identification references: Cooper 2006

Taxonomic Description:

  • body shape: subcylindrical
  • coloration:
  • spines: branchiostegal spine small, often reduced to tubercle;cervical spine absent; cephalic spine or tubercle present
    rostrum: lacking marginal tubercles, spines, and median carina; margins slightly thickened, subparallel,or moderately converging from base to base of acumen, then strongly converging to blunt, upturned apical tubercle; floor of rostrum subplane
  • areola: usually with 7 or 8 large punctuations across narrowest part
  • chelae: 2 rows of adpressed tubercles on mesial margin of palm, 2nd row with weaker tubercles; lacks rows of prominent tubercles on the mesial surface of dactyl
  • other characteristics: large eye;suborbital angle usually obtuse to obsolete
  • form I male gonopod: both terminal elements short; central projection corneous, not tapered, curved slightly over 90° from axis of shaft, directed caudally not extended quite as far as mesial process; subapical notch shallow; mesial process inflated, directed caudally, strongly tapering to spiniform tip

Notes: At some sites, C.brimleyorum is syntopic with either C.hiwasseensis or C. parrishi (Cooper 2006)


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.  2006.  A new crayfish of the genus Cambarus Erichson, 1846, subgenus Puncticambarus Hobbs, 1969 (Decapoda: Cambaridae), from the Hiwassee River basin of North Carolina.  Proceedings of the Biologial Society of Washington, 119(1): 81-90.



Fig. 1. Cambarus (Puncticambarus) brimleyorum; all from holotypic male, form I (NCSM 24650), except B, C, from morphotypic male, form II (NCSM 24652), and J, from allotypic female (NCSM 24651): A, lateral aspect of carapace; B, E, mesial aspect of gonopod (first pleopod); C, F, lateral aspect of gonopod; D, dorsal aspect of carapace; G, caudal aspect of in situ gonopods; H, epistome; I, basis and ischium of third pereopod; J, annulus ventralis andpostannular sclerite; K, antennal scale; L, dorsal aspect of distal podomeres of right cheliped. Setae not illustrated. Scale line 5 2 mm.













        Credit NCWRC for all photos.