Common Name:  Reticulate Crayfish

Classification:  Nongame Fish - Crustacean



National Range: Eastern Tennessee, southwestern Virginia, western North Carolina, northern Alabama, and northwestern Georgia (Hobbs 1981)

NC Physiographic Region(s): Blue Ridge Mountains/Valley and Ridge boundary zone

River Basin(s): French Broad

Distribution:  Madison County

Adult Habitat: Creeks and rivers with moderate current and rocky substrata where it occurs under rocks and in leaf litter (Hobbs 1981)

Reproductive Season: spring and fall; extended?

Species associates: C. (C.) latimanus, C. (C.) bartonii, C. (H.) longirostris, C. (L.) acanthura, O. forceps

Conservation status: not protected

Identification references: Hobbs 1981, Fitzpatrick 1967

Taxonomic Description:
  • body shape:
  • coloration: pale to dark tan with overlying reticulate pattern of charcoal; chelae olive-tan with ends of fingers black; pereiopods pale tan with olive-brown bands
  • spines: strong cervical spines; cephalic spines
  • rostrum: long rostrum with parallel margins and well-defined marginal spines or tubercles; margins moderately thickened
  • areola: 2-6 punctations in narrowest part
  • chelae: mesial margin of palm has at least two rows of tubercles; larger individuals often having gape between fingers
  • other characteristics:
  • form I male gonopod: central projection constituting no more than 1/3 mesial length of appendage; mesial process almost or quite as long as central projection; both straight; mesial process truncate or acute, sometimes concealing tip of central projection in caudal aspect

Notes: First discovered in NC in the lower French Broad River, 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:

Hobbs, H. H., Jr. 1981. The crayfishes of Georgia.Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 318:1-549.



Figure 109 -- Orconecies erichsonianus (from tributary to Chickamauga Creek 0.5 mi N of St Rte 143 on Rte 341, Walker Co; all from first form male except c, d, from second form male, and k, from female): a, lateral view of carapace; b, c, mesial view of first pleopod; d, e, lateral view of first pleopod; f, antennal scale; g, dorsal view of carapace; h, dorsal view of distal podomeres of cheliped; i, epistome; j, proximal podomeres of third, fourth, and fifth pereiopods; k, annulus ventralis; l, caudal view of first pleopods.














 Credit: TWRA-Carl Williams