Cambarus parvoculus - Hobbs and Shoup, 1947
Mountain Midget Crayfish
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Cambarus parvoculus Hobbs and Shoup, 1947 (TSN 97394)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.106652
Element Code: ICMAL07060
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 parvoculus
Taxonomic Comments: Kentucky populations of Cambarus parvoculus may actually be Cambarus jezerinaci according to preliminary genetic data from Roger Thoma (Taylor and Schuster, 2004; C. Taylor, pers. comm., 2008). Recent genetic analysis has revealed that C. jezerinaci and C. parvoculus are separate species with Virginia populations of C. jezerinaci showing considerable genetic difference from Kentucky populations and rostral morphology also indicating the species are separate (Thoma and Fetzner, 2008). Other previously mentioned character states (Thoma, 2000) and potential new character states were investigated and were found to not be significantly different for the two nominal species. A third species, genetically identical to C. parvoculus, has been discovered, currently retained as C. jezerinaci, in an area between the ranges of C. jezerinaci and C. parvoculus in Tennessee between Pine and Cumberland Mountains (Thoma and Fetzner, 2008).
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 01Jul2009
Global Status Last Changed: 29Jan2008
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Reasons: This species has a fairly wide distribution (5000-20,000 sq. km) and appears stable within its range with a few limited threats to habitat including urban development and loss of preferred hemlock habitat. Some taxonomic confusion existed between this species and Cambarus jezerinaci but appears resolved as Cambarus parvoculus is now confined to the Big South Fork Cumberland River drainage and Cumberland Plateau regions of the Tennessee River basin. There is no evidence of decline and occurrences seem viable.
Nation: United States
National Status: N5 (29Jan2008)

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 (S1), Georgia (S3), Kentucky (S2), Tennessee (S4)

Other Statuses

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

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 5000-20,000 square km (about 2000-8000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: This species was originally described as largely restricted to the Cumberland Plateau where it occurred in the Cumberland River basin in eastern Tennessee, southeastern Kentucky, and northwestern Georgia (Hobbs, 1989). Virginia records and upper Kentucky River drainage, Kentucky, records have recently been attributed to C. jezerinaci (R. Thoma, pers. comm., 2009; Thoma and Fetzner, 2008). Thoma and Fetzner (2008) have modified the distribution to be confined to waters of the Big South Fork Cumberland River in northern Tenenssee (and possibly southern Kentucky), and Cumberland Plateau regions of the Tennessee River basin from the Sequatchie River to Emory River basin. Taylor et al. (2007) have also recorded C. parvoculus occurring in Alabama.

Number of Occurrences: 21 - 80
Number of Occurrences Comments: There are 78 localities known as of March 1992. In the Cumberland Plateau it occurs in the Cumberland and Tennessee River systems in Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee as well as a tributary of Lookout Creek in Tennessee on the Georgia border (Bouchard, 1974). In Kentucky, it is known sporadically from the Big South Fork of the Cumberland drainage, the upper Cumberland River drainage above Cumberland Falls, and upper Kentucky River drainage (Taylor and Schuster, 2004). It has been recorded from Dade Co., Georgia; Bell, Letcher, McCreary Cos., Kentucky; Pickens Co., South Carolina; Anderson, Campbell, Claiborne, Cumberland, Hamilton, Marion, Morgan, Rhea Cos., Tennessee; Lee, Wise Cos., Virginia. Virginia records and possibly upper Kentucky River drainage, Kentucky, records have recently been attributed to C. jezerinaci (R. Thoma, pers. comm., 2009; Thoma and Fetzner, 2008). This Virginia population in the South Fork Powell River of Wise Co., Virginia, is morphologically similar somewhat to C. parvoculus but is far separated from nominal C. parvoculus populations but has not been analyzed genetically; therefore it is currently placed tentatively in C. jezerinaci (Thoma and Fetzner, 2008). A single USNM record exists for Dade Co., Alabama (Tennessee River drainage) (Schuster et al., 2008).

Population Size: Unknown
Population Size Comments: 200 species known as of March 1992.

Overall Threat Impact Comments: Cambarus parvoculus are more susceptible to anthropogenic changes, which means that they might be more susceptible to interspecific competition as conditions change (Peake et al. 2004). C. parvoculus is likely to be affected by urban development, road building and pollution caused by both of these (Peake et al. 2004). As this species is a specialist the water quality is likely to have a very large impact.

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

Environmental Specificity: Narrow. Specialist or community with key requirements common.
Environmental Specificity Comments: It prefers small headwater streams with hemlock and rhododendron cover; a habitat that is declining to woody adelgids (R. Thoma, pers. comm., 2009).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Inventory Needs: Search for more populations

Distribution
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Global Range: (5000-20,000 square km (about 2000-8000 square miles)) This species was originally described as largely restricted to the Cumberland Plateau where it occurred in the Cumberland River basin in eastern Tennessee, southeastern Kentucky, and northwestern Georgia (Hobbs, 1989). Virginia records and upper Kentucky River drainage, Kentucky, records have recently been attributed to C. jezerinaci (R. Thoma, pers. comm., 2009; Thoma and Fetzner, 2008). Thoma and Fetzner (2008) have modified the distribution to be confined to waters of the Big South Fork Cumberland River in northern Tenenssee (and possibly southern Kentucky), and Cumberland Plateau regions of the Tennessee River basin from the Sequatchie River to Emory River basin. Taylor et al. (2007) have also recorded C. parvoculus occurring in Alabama.

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: endemic to a single nation

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AL, GA, KY, TN

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
GA Dade (13083)
KY Bell (21013), Breathitt (21025), Clay (21051), Harlan (21095), Knox (21121), Leslie (21131), Letcher (21133), McCreary (21147), Owsley (21189), Perry (21193), Whitley (21235)*
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
05 North Fork Kentucky (05100201)+, South Fork Kentucky (05100203)+, Upper Cumberland (05130101)+
06 Middle Tennessee-Chickamauga (06020001)+, Guntersville Lake (06030001)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A crayfish; Cambaridae
Habitat Type: Freshwater
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Habitat Comments: Cambarus parvoculus is found in rocky streams (Fetzner 2008). C. parvoculus is quite a specialist as its arbitary tolerance values of water quality were 2.5-3.5 with other more gneralist species have values of 2.2-6.8. These values also show that C. parvoculus requires more pristine water than other more tollerant species (Peake et al. 2004).
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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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. (2008); Fitzpatrick, J.F., Jr. (1989)
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 10Jun2009
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Cordeiro, J.

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

References
Help
  • Bouchard, R.W. 1974. Geography and ecology of crayfishes of the Cumberland Plateau and Cumberland Mountains, Kentucky, Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama. Part II. The genera Fallicambarus and Cambarus. Freshwater Crayfish 2:585-605

  • Crandall, K. A., and S. De Grave. 2017. An updated classification of the freshwater crayfishes (Decapoda: Astacidea) of the world, with a complete species list. Journal of Crustacean Biology (2017):1-39.

  • Hobbs, H.H., Jr. 1989. An illustrated checklist of the American crayfishes (Decapoda: Astacidae, Cambaridae, and Parastacidae). Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 480:1-236.

  • McLaughlin, P.A., D.K. Camp, M.V. Angel, E.L. Bousfield, P. Brunel, R.C. Brusca, D. Cadien, A.C. Cohen, K. Conlan, L.G. Eldredge, D.L. Felder, J.W. Goy, T. Haney, B. Hann, R.W. Heard, E.A. Hendrycks, H.H. Hobbs III, J.R. Holsinger, B. Kensley, D.R. Laubitz, S.E. LeCroy, R. Lemaitre, R.F. Maddocks, J.W. Martin, P. Mikkelsen, E. Nelson, W.A. Newman, R.M. Overstreet, W.J. Poly, W.W. Price, J.W. Reid, A. Robertson, D.C. Rogers, A. Ross, M. Schotte, F. Schram, C. Shih, L. Watling, G.D.F. Wilson, and D.D. Turgeon. 2005. Common and scientific names of aquatic invertebrates from the United States and Canada: Crustaceans. American Fisheries Society Special Publication 31: 545 pp.

  • Schuster, G.A., C.A. Taylor, and J. Johansen. 2008. An annotated checklist and preliminary designation of drainage distributions of the crayfishes of Alabama. Southeastern Naturalist, 7(3): 493-504.

  • Taylor, C.A. and G.A. Schuster. 2004. The Crayfishes of Kentucky. Illinois Natural History Survey Special Publication, 28: viii + 210 pp.

  • Taylor, C.A., G.A. Schuster, J.E. Cooper, R.J. DiStefano, A.G. Eversole, P. Hamr, H.H. Hobbs III, H.W. Robison, C.E. Skelton, and R.F. Thoma. 2007. A reassessment of the conservation status of crayfishes of the United States and Canada after 10+ years of increased awareness. Fisheries 32(8):371-389.

  • Taylor, Christopher A. and Guenter A. Schuster. 2007. Final report: compilation of Alabama crayfish museum holdings and construction of a geo-referenced database. Illinois Natural Histroy Survey, Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Entomology Technical Report 2007(26). 14 pages.

  • Thoma, R.F. and J.W. Fetzner, Jr. 2008. Taxonomic status of Cambarus (Jugicambarus) jezerinaci, spiny scale crayfish (Powell River crayfish). Report submitted to Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries, Richmond, Virginia. Unpaginated.

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