Common Name: Sandhills Crayfish

Classification:  Nongame Fish - Crustacean




* To help keep this map accurate and current, please send any distribution information (additions, deletions) to the webmaster.

National Range: “Johnston* and Sampson counties, North Carolina, south to Horry and Marion counties, South Carolina” (Hobbs Jr. 1989)

NC Physiographic Region(s): coastal plain

River Basin(s): lower Cape Fear (not Northeast Cape Fear), Lumber, Waccamaw

Adult Habitat: “lentic situations and burrows (secondary burrower)” (Hobbs Jr. 1989); "ponds, lakes (including Carolina bays), pools, swamps, roadside ditches, and borrow pits but is also found in burrows" (Cooper and Braswell 1995)

Reproductive Season: spring, others?

Species associates: P. blandingii, F. fodiens

Conservation status: placed on North Carolina Watch List (W.F. Adams and J.E. Cooper in Clamp 1999); considered by Taylor et al. (1996) to be Currently Stable throughout its range

Identification references: Cooper 1998, Hobbs Jr. 1989, Hobbs 1991

Taxonomic Description:

  • body shape: cylindrical; fairly small species
  • coloration:  light brown or tan with highlights in pastels (greens, pinks, salmon) and often speckled with dark spots
  • spines: branchiostegal spine present; others lacking
  • rostrum: short, blunt, fairly flat; without marginal spines (usually – but can be present in juveniles)
  • areola: fairly wide
  • chelae: having strong dorsolongitudinal ridges; not robust but fairly large for this genus
  • other characteristics: n/a
  • form I male gonopod: tip of gonopods angled 80-90 degrees from main shaft (terminal elements directed caudally); cephalic process broad; caudal process flared or truncate; distal ¼ of mesial process bent strongly laterally; subapical setae originating from punctations around base of cephalic process and part of central projection

Notes: part of the planirostris group; *the Johnston locality given by Hobbs was for P. medialis

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.