Common Name: Spiny Stream Crayfish

Classification:  Nongame Fish - Crustacean




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National Range: Extreme Northwestern North Carolina

NC Physiographic Region(s): northwestern mountains

River Basin(s): New (New-Kanawha endemic)

Adult Habitat: fast-flowing, cold, clear water; under medium-large rocks; gravel substrate

Reproductive Season: fall (more?)

Species associates: C. bartonii, C. chasmodactylus, C. robustus, (possibly C. sp. A, others?)

Conservation status:  not protected

Identification references: Taylor 2000, Cooper and Cooper 1995

Illustration reference: Taylor 2000

Taxonomic Description:

  • body shape: cylindrical
  • coloration: brown carapace with red, yellow, and black highlights;black dorsal abdomen with red & yellow bumps on chelae and red sutures;large scarlet tubercle at base of fingers; chelae tips with orange butnot with black band
  • spines: all spines present
  • rostrum: straight margins; concave dorsally; marginal spines;long acumen
  • areola: fairly narrow
  • chelae: not very robust; straight fingers with no gap between
  • other characteristics: obtuse suborbital angle; serrate edges of cutting edge of mandibles (vs. straight in O. rusticus)
  • form I male gonopod: both terminal elements long and similar in length; strongly resembling those of O. rusticus

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:
Taylor, C.A.  2000.  Systematic studies of the Orconectes juvenilis complex (Decapoda: Cambaridae), with descriptions of two new species.  The Journal of Crustacean Biology, 20(1): 132-152. 



Fig. 14.  Orconectes cristavarius, new species: A, mesial view of first pleopod of form I male; B, caudal view of first pleopods of form I male; C, lateral view of first pleopod of form II male; D, annulus ventralis; E, dorsal view of right antennal scale; F, dorsal view of carapace; G, dorsal view of right chela; H, dorsal view of right chela. A, E, F, G of holotype (INHS 6883); B, topotype (INHS 6881); C, morphotype (INHS 6888); D allotype (INHS 6890); H, INHS 6873.
















        Credit NCWRC for all photos.