Common Name: no common name

Classification:  Nongame Fish - Crustacean




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National Range: “Patapsco Basin in Maryland southward to the Saluda drainage system in South Carolina”(Hobbs Jr. 1989; definition for C. acuminatus)

NC Physiographic Region(s): piedmont and coastal plain

River Basin(s): all piedmont plateau and coastal plain river basins except Pasquotank, Waccamaw, and appear to be absent from Chowan and White Oak as well

Adult Habitat: “streams” (Hobbs Jr. 1989); various, including rocky substrate in fast flow, but usuallymore often associated with detritus in slower flow

Reproductive Season: spring and fall (?)

Species associates: many

Conservation status:  not protected

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

Taxonomic Description:

  • body shape: somewhat dorsoventrally flattened in some; cylindrical in others
  • coloration: various shades and patterns; many with shades of tan, brown, olive, and cream and mottled or saddled pattern; some having double spotlights on each segment of abdomen or double stripes on dorsal abdomen
  • spines: cephalic (usually), cervical, branchiostegal spines present; marginal spines absent
  • rostrum: broad and acuminate
  • areola: medium-wide to wide
  • chelae: robust; well-developed dorsolongitudinal ridges on fingers;double row of tubercles on mesial margin of palm
  • other characteristics: large eyes; suborbital angle varies
  • form I male gonopod: terminal elements similar in length; corneouscentral projection bearing (weak) subapical notch; mesial process inflated basally and tapering distally but not to point – rather uneven at tip

Notes:  this is a species complex that is currently under investigation by J.E. Cooper and likely contains four or more species across the state

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.