Cambarus diogenes - Girard, 1852
Devil Crawfish
Other English Common Names: Chimney Crayfish, Devil Crayfish, Meadow Crayfish
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Cambarus diogenes Girard, 1852 (TSN 97338)
French Common Names: Écrevisse de Diogène
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.110064
Element Code: ICMAL07160
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Invertebrates - Crustaceans - Crayfishes
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Crustacea Malacostraca Decapoda Cambaridae Cambarus
Genus Size: D - Medium to large genus (21+ species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Hobbs, H.H., Jr. 1989. An illustrated checklist of the American crayfishes (Decapoda: Astacidae, Cambaridae, and Parastacidae). Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 480:1-236.
Concept Reference Code: B89HOB01EHUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Cambarus diogenes
Taxonomic Comments: This is a species complex that needs investigation (Hobbs 1989).
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 26May2015
Global Status Last Changed: 19Feb1996
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by calculator
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Reasons: This species is extremely widespread; from the Rockies to southern Canada to New Jersey and throughout the Mississippi River basin. It is stable an secure (millions of individuals and range > 2,500,000 sq. km) throughout its range.
Nation: United States
National Status: N5 (19Feb1996)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N3 (11May2017)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (S5), Arkansas (S3?), Colorado (SNR), Delaware (S3), District of Columbia (SNR), Florida (S3?), Georgia (S5), Illinois (S5), Indiana (S4S5), Iowa (SNR), Kansas (S3S4), Kentucky (S4), Louisiana (S5), Maryland (S4), Michigan (S4), Minnesota (SNR), Mississippi (S4), Missouri (S4), Nebraska (S3?), New Jersey (S3?), New York (S2), North Carolina (S5), North Dakota (SNR), Ohio (S4), Oklahoma (S3?), Pennsylvania (S4), South Carolina (S3), South Dakota (S3), Tennessee (S5), Texas (S4), Virginia (S3), West Virginia (S3?), Wisconsin (S4), Wyoming (S3)
Canada Ontario (S3)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern
American Fisheries Society Status: Currently Stable (01Aug2007)

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: >2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: It is extremely widespread; from the Rockies to southern Canada to New Jersey and throughout the Mississippi River basin and Great Lakes (Hobbs, 1989). Pflieger (1996) lists range as much of the eastern United States east of a line from eastern Texas to central Minnesota, except the Florida peninsula and much of the Appalachians, and westward along the Missouri and Platte Rivers to southern North Dakota, eastern Wyoming and Colorado.

Number of Occurrences: > 300
Number of Occurrences Comments: Hobbs et al. (1976) documented it in the Savannah River Plant Park (on the Savannah River) in southwest South Carolina not in the Savannah River proper but in the immediate area. It is widespread across east central and eastern Texas (Johnson and Johnson, 2008). In Georgia, most populations occur on the Coastal Plain but a few also occur in the Piedmont Province (Skelton, 2010). In the Cumberland Plateau, it occurs throughout (Bouchard, 1974). In Alabama, known from all river systems except the Cahaba, Pascagoula, and Perdido (Mirarchi et al., 2004; in appendix 1-2 published separately; Schuster and Taylor, 2004; Schuster and Taylor, 2008). In Kentucky, it is generally distributed in the western half of the state (Taylor and Schuster, 2004). In Missouri, it is nearly statewide but apparently absent from the southwestern Ozarks (White and Neosho drainages) (Pflieger, 1996). In Kansas, it occurs in the northeast in eastern Kansas and Marais des Cygnes River basins (Ghedotti, 1998). In South Carolina, it is documented from most coastal plains counties (Eversole and Jones, 2004). Francois (1959) cites it in New Jersey from Cape May, Cumberland, Mercer, Morris Cos. and from Bucks, Delaware, and Philadelphia Cos., Pennsylvania. NCSM has records from Salem, Cape May, and Camden Cos., New Jersey. It was recently documented in the vicinity of Plummers Island (bank of Potomac River), Montgomery Co., Maryland (Norden, 2008). In Maryland, it is the most common burrowing species in the Coastal Plain and Piedmont regions and is considered stable (Killian et al., 2010). In Ohio it occurs in a few sterams in the western part of the state, probably by way of the Wabash River system (Thoma and Jezerinac, 2000). It has also been documented in western New York (Gall and Jezerinac, 1998). In Canada it occurs in southwestern Ontario from the Welland River in the east to just west of Long Point; extending west to the Niagara Peninsula as well as the northeastern shoreline of Lake Erie with one anomalous record far north in Rainy River District near Atikokan (Giasu et al., 1996; Hamr, 2006). Hamr (2006) documented 18 Ontario populations.

Population Size: >1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: In Canada, burrow density ranged from 0.25 to 4.5 per sq. m (Hamr, 2006).

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Very many (>125)

Overall Threat Impact: Low
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Given the large geographic distribution of this species, it is unlikely that any major threat is impacting its global population. However, some sub-populations may be experiencing localized declines due to habitat loss and degradation.

Short-term Trend: Relatively Stable (<=10% change)

Long-term Trend: Decline of <30% to increase of 25%

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Not intrinsically vulnerable

Environmental Specificity: Moderate to broad.
Environmental Specificity Comments: Simon and Morris (2008) found this species to be much more tolerant of high concentrations of sediment contaminants in the Patoka River watershed, Indiana, than aquatic tertiary burrowing species.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) It is extremely widespread; from the Rockies to southern Canada to New Jersey and throughout the Mississippi River basin and Great Lakes (Hobbs, 1989). Pflieger (1996) lists range as much of the eastern United States east of a line from eastern Texas to central Minnesota, except the Florida peninsula and much of the Appalachians, and westward along the Missouri and Platte Rivers to southern North Dakota, eastern Wyoming and Colorado.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AL, AR, CO, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MD, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, ND, NE, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, WI, WV, WY
Canada ON

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
NY Erie (36029), Genesee (36037), Niagara (36063), Orleans (36073)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
04 Buffalo-Eighteenmile (04120103)+, Niagara (04120104)+, Oak Orchard-Twelvemile (04130001)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: a crayfish
General Description: Rostrum with small to obtuse acumen, acarinate, margins converging and terminating in broadly rounded shoulders; cervical spines absent; areola obliterated and about 40% of TCL; dactyl of chela with broad concavity in basal half of opposable margin; inner ramus of uropod lacking median spine overreaching distal margin; male with hooks on ischia of 3rd pereiopod; male 1st pleopod terminating in 2 subequal subparallel elements both directed at almost exact right angles to main axis of pleopod, central projection with subapical notch (Hobbs, 1972; 1981). [LENGTH: to 75 TCL; to 150 TL] [WIDTH: to 25]
Diagnostic Characteristics: Dactyl of chela with broad concavity in basal half of opposable margin; areola obliterated and about 40% of TCL; lacking overreaching median spine on inner ramus of uropod; male 1st pleopods as described above.
Reproduction Comments: Amplexus in fall; spring brooding.
Habitat Type: Freshwater
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Riverine Habitat(s): BIG RIVER, CREEK, MEDIUM RIVER
Palustrine Habitat(s): Riparian
Special Habitat Factors: Burrowing in or using soil
Habitat Comments: Can be excavated almost anywhere where water table is near surface; lives as primary burrower in burrows constructed in timbered and formerly timbered areas along streams and ditches (Pflieger, 1996). In Texas, it burrows near permanent streams and is in surface waters during sprign and after rains but usually remains within the immediate vicinity of its burrow.
Adult Food Habits: Detritivore, Herbivore
Immature Food Habits: Detritivore, Herbivore
Food Comments: Opportunistic; herbivore as habitat dictates.
Adult Phenology: Nocturnal
Immature Phenology: Nocturnal
Phenology Comments: Nocturnal except for emergence from burrow to breed.
Economic Attributes
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Economic Comments: Often cited as pest for burrowing into dykes, levees, etc.
Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Crayfishes

Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Occurrences are based on some evidence of historical or current presence of single or multiple specimens, including live specimens or recently dead shells (i.e., soft tissue still attached without signs of external weathering or staining), at a given location with potentially recurring existence. Evidence is derived from reliable published observation or collection data; unpublished, though documented (i.e. government or agency reports, web sites, etc.) observation or collection data; or museum specimen information.
Separation Barriers: Separation barriers are based on hydrological discontinuity. Additional physical barriers, particularly for secondary and tertiary burrowers, include presence of upland habitat between water connections of a distance greater than 30 m. Migration of primary burrowers is generally not hindered by presence of upland habitat unless conditions are very xeric (dry and desert-like) (Smith, 2001).
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 2 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 2 km
Alternate Separation Procedure: Freshwater cave (troglobitic) species may occur from near entrances to very deep in cave systems. For cave species, each cave where an observation or collection was recorded (see Minimum EO Criteria, above) constitutes an element occurrence regardless of separation distance unless caves are part of a single hydrological system (see below). Occurrences are additionally separated by underground physical barriers to movement. Multiple caves within a single hydrological cave system are considered to be a single element occurrence when they are less than one km apart. Multiple caves within a single hydrological cave system are considered separate element occurrences when hydrological connections have not been determined or when separated by a distance of at least one km.
Separation Justification: Habitat for these creatures is primarily separated according to each species' burrowing ability. All crayfish are able to burrow to some extent and this ability will help determine the range of habitats in which a species can be found. Burrowing in the Astacidae is limited to streambed and bank excavation (Hobbs, 1988). The Cambaridae, as a whole are much more adept at burrowing than the Astacidae. As a result, they possess a greater habitat range than the Astacidae including dry water bodies (Hogger, 1988).

The burrowers can be classified into three categories: primary burrowers, secondary burrowers, and tertiary burrowers. Primary burrowers tend to remain in their burrows continuously and live in areas without permanent water except during breeding when they must migrate to a nearby water source (Hogger, 1988). The prairies of eastern and central Mississippi and western Alabama are an example of primary burrower habitat (Hogger, 1988). Secondary burrowers remain in burrows during dry periods but emerge when habitats are inundated seasonally. Such habitat includes lentic systems flooded periodically but dry in summer (Huner and Romaire, 1979) and permanent and temporary ponds and swamps in the southern United States. Tertiary burrowers do not burrow except during infrequent drought conditions and/or during breeding season. Both flowing and standing water can be tertiary burrower habitat.

Because primary burrowers, and to a lesser extent secondary burrowers, can occupy xeric habitats, separation barriers for such species do not include presence of upland habitat except in extremely dry conditions. Survival during dry periods, particularly for secondary burrowers, is dependent upon construction of a burrow regardless of season. Several different types have been described (Smith, 2001) depending on species, soil, and depth of water table.

Published information about movement in relation to migration distance is lacking but Cooper (1998, personal communication) and Fitzpatrick (1998, personal communication) both recommend a separation distance of one km between element occurrences. Dispersal patterns are best known for invasive species which likely have the greatest dispersal capability, therefore, separation distances have been determined for all crayfish based on these studies. Guan and Wiles (1997) provided evidence from the River Great Ouse in the United Kingdom that the range of movement for the majority of the invasive Pacifastacus leniusculus was within 190 m. Bubb et al. (2004) also studied P. leniusculus in England using radio-tagging and found median maximal upstream and downstream movement distances were 13.5 m (range 0-283 m) and 15 m (range 0-417 m), respectively. Barbaresi et al. (2004) found that ranging speed in the invasive crayfish Procambarus clarkii (Girard) to be slow (0.3 to 76.5 m/day) with the widest ranging individual traveling 304 m. Lewis and Horton (1996) found that 21% of tagged Pacifastacus leniusculus in an Oregon harvest pond moved >1000 m in one year while the majority moved <500 m. As such minimum separation distance (unsuitable and suitable) has been set at the NatureServe standard minimum of two km.

Exposed pools and streams in caves represent "karst windows" into more extensive underground streams. No information on the distance cave crayfish can disperse in underground streams is yet available.

Date: 18Oct2004
Author: Cordeiro, J.
Notes: Primary burrowers include the following taxa: Cambarus (Cambarus) carolinus, C. (C.) diogenes diogenes, C. (Depressicambarus) catagius, C. (D.) cymatilis, C. (D.) deweesae, C. (D.) harti, C. (D.) reflexus, C. (D.) pyronotus, C. (D.) striatus, C. (D.) strigosus, C. (D.) truncatus, C. (Glareocola), C. (Jugicambarus) batchi, C. (J.) carolinus, C. (J.) causeyi, C. (J.) dubius, C. (J.) gentryi, C. (J.) monongalensis, C. (J.) nodosus, C. (Lacunicambarus), C. (Tubericambarus), Distocambarus, Fallicambarus, Procambarus (Acucauda), P. (Distocambarus), P. (Girardiella) barbiger, P. (G.) cometes, P. (G.) connus, P. (G.) curdi, P. (G.) gracilis, P. (G.) hagenianus hagenianus, P. (G.) hagenianus vesticeps, P. (G.) liberorum, P. (G.) pogum, P. (Hagenides) [except P. pygmaeus]
Secondary burrowers include the following taxa: Cambarus (Cambarus) ortmanni, C. (Depressicambarus) latimanus, C. (D.) reduncus, Hobbseus, Procambarus (Cambarus) clarkii, P. (Girardiella) kensleyi, P. (G.) reimeri, P. (G.) simulans, P. (G.) steigmani, P. (G.) tulanei, P. (Hagenides) pygmaeus, P. (Leconticambarus) [excepting P. alleni and P. milleri], P. (Ortmannicus) [excepting the cave dwelling species], P. (Tenuicambarus)
Tertiary burrowers include the following taxa: Barbicambarus, Bouchardina, Cambarus (Cambarus) angularis, C. (C.) bartonii carinirostris, C. (C.) bartonii cavatus, C. (C.) howardi, C. (C.) sciotensis, C. (Depressicambarus) englishi, C. (D.) graysoni, C. (D.) halli, C. (D.) obstipus, C. (D.) sphenoides, C. (Erebicambarus) ornatus, C. (E.) rusticiformis, C. (Exilicambarus) cracens, C. (Hiaticambarus), C. (Jugicambarus) asperimanus, C. (J.) bouchardi, C. (J.) crinipes, C. (J.) distans, C. (J.) friaufi, C. (J.) obeyensis, C. (J.) parvoculus, C. (J.) unestami, C. (Puncticambarus) [excepting the cave dwelling species], C. (Veticambarus), Cambarellus, Faxonella, Orconectes [excepting the cave dwelling species], Pacifastacus, Procambarus (Capillicambarus), P. (Girardiella) ceruleus, P.

Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 01Jul2009
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Cordeiro, J.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 12Mar2009
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Cordeiro, J. (2009); FITZPATRICK, J.F. (1992)

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

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Citation for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
Patterson, B.D., G. Ceballos, W. Sechrest, M.F. Tognelli, T. Brooks, L. Luna, P. Ortega, I. Salazar, and B.E. Young. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Mammals of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Bruce Patterson, Wes Sechrest, Marcelo Tognelli, Gerardo Ceballos, The Nature Conservancy-Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International-CABS, World Wildlife Fund-US, and Environment Canada-WILDSPACE."

Citation for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe. 2004. Global Amphibian Assessment. IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe, Washington, DC and Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
"Data developed as part of the Global Amphibian Assessment and provided by IUCN-World Conservation Union, Conservation International and NatureServe."

NOTE: Full metadata for the Bird Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/birdDistributionmapsmetadatav1.pdf.

Full metadata for the Mammal Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/mammalsDistributionmetadatav1.pdf.

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