Faxonius pardalotus - (Wetzel, Poly and Fetzner, 2005)
Leopard Crayfish
Synonym(s): Orconectes pardalotus Wetzel, Poly, and Fetzner, 2005
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.720843
Element Code: ICMAL12040
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Invertebrates - Crustaceans - Crayfishes
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Crustacea Malacostraca Decapoda Cambaridae Faxonius
Genus Size: D - Medium to large genus (21+ species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Wetzel, J.E., W.J. Poly, and J.W. Fetzner, Jr. 2005. Orconectes pardalotus, a new species of crayfish (Decapoda: Cambaridae) from the lower Ohio River, with notes on its life history. Aqua, Journal of Icthyology and Aquatic Biology 10(2): 57-72.
Concept Reference Code: A05WET01EHUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Orconectes pardalotus
Taxonomic Comments: Based on Crandall and De Grave (2017), the representatives of Orconectes form at least two distinct groups. The nominal group (the "cave Orconectes") form a monophyletic group that is more closely related to members of Cambarus, while the remaining "Orconectes" are more closely related to Barbicambarus, Creaserinus, and other species of Cambarus (Crandall and Fitzpatrick 1996, Fetzner 1996). As the type species of Orconectes, Orconectes inermis Cope, 1872, belongs to the cave-dwelling group, the genus is herein restricted to just those taxa. The surface-dwelling taxa now excluded from Orconectes sensu stricto are herein placed in the resurrected genus Faxonius Ortmann, 1905a, the oldest available name previously considered to be a synonym of Orconectes Cope, 1872.

Listed as Orconectes sp. [formerly = Orconectes sp. 2 in NatureServe database] in Poly and Wetzel (2003).
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G1
Global Status Last Reviewed: 19May2010
Global Status Last Changed: 19Sep2008
Rounded Global Status: G1 - Critically Imperiled
Reasons: This species was first described in 2005 and has a restricted distribution of (<300 sq. km). Surveys beyond this distribution have not found other populations. It occurs in one location in an area where there are several threats including impacts from the invasive species O. rusticus which is known to be outcompeting a range of species in the Orconectes genus where it invades, and habitat alteration from dredging for channel maintenance. The area where it occurs is considered one location, and there is an inferred decline in Extent of Occurrence due to the impact of O. rusticus, and a decline in quality of habitat from dredging.
Nation: United States
National Status: N1 (19Sep2008)

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 Illinois (SNR), Kentucky (SNR)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: EN - Endangered
American Fisheries Society Status: Endangered (01Aug2007)

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 100-250 square km (about 40-100 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: Recently described and collected only from the lower main channel of the Ohio River in Massac, Pulaski, and Alexander Counties, Illinois (Wetzel et al., 2005).

Area of Occupancy: 3-500 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments:  

Number of Occurrences: 1 - 5
Number of Occurrences Comments: Recently described and collected only from the lower main channel of the Ohio River in Massac, Pulaski, and Alexander Counties, Illinois; in only 6 sites (Wetzel et al., 2005).

Population Size: Unknown
Population Size Comments: There is insufficient population data available for this species.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: None to few (0-12)

Overall Threat Impact: Very high - high
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) were found attached to some specimens from type locality when described (Wetzel et al., 2005). Orconectes rusticus has invaded the range of this species and is thought to be having an impact, displacing O. pardalotus. Dredging for channel maintenance may also be a problem for this species, destroying habitat (G. Schuster, pers. comm., 2009).

Short-term Trend: Unknown
Short-term Trend Comments: Recently described.

Long-term Trend: Unknown
Long-term Trend Comments: Recently described.

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Unknown

Environmental Specificity: Broad. Generalist or community with all key requirements common.
Environmental Specificity Comments: Only known from main river channel of Ohio River in anthropogenically modified areas with artificially high concentrations of rocks used to stabilize the stream bottom; under rocks where tertiary burrows constructed. Many collected above water line under rocks when stranded due to rapidly changing water levels (to promote navigation); seems tolerant of such habitat change (Wetzel et al., 2005).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Inventory Needs: Population information lacking for existing populations. More survey work needed in southern Illinois and neighboring Kentucky.

Protection Needs: No protection status because recently described, but definitely warranted.

Distribution
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Global Range: (100-250 square km (about 40-100 square miles)) Recently described and collected only from the lower main channel of the Ohio River in Massac, Pulaski, and Alexander Counties, Illinois (Wetzel et al., 2005).

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 state or province

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States IL, KY

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
IL Massac (17127), Pulaski (17153)*
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
05 Lower Ohio (05140206)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Diagnostic Characteristics: BELOW FROM WETZEL ET AL. (2005):
Orconectes pardalotus differs from all other members of the genus Orconectes by possessing a unique combination of pigmentation, chela shape, carapace, carpal spine pattern, and form I male pleopod characters, and is most similar to Orconectes forceps. Other crayfishes that have a large gap between the fingers of the chela include Orconectes neglectus, Orconectes placidus, Orconectes forceps, Orconectes mirus, Orconectes barrenensis, and Cambarus chasmodactylus. The overall shape of the chelae of O. pardalotus is most similar to those of O. forceps and C. chasmodactylus, whereas the other 3 species mentioned above possess dissimilar-shaped chelae. The gonopods of form I specimens of O. pardalotus are quite similar to those of O. forceps, O. placidus, O. durelli, O. barrenensis, O. neglectus, and O. mirus. Of these, O. mirus, and O. neglectus have moderately to well developed cephalic shoulders on the gonopod, whereas O. forceps, O. placidus, O. durelli, and O. barrenensis resemble O. pardalotus in lacking a shoulder. The carapace of O. barrenensis and O. mirus are laterally compressed, whereas that of O. pardalotus is not. In addition, O. mirus, O. barrenensis, and O. neglectus lack cervical spines, but O. pardalotus has well-developed cervical spines. The ventrolateral margins of the carapace of O. pardalotus, O. forceps, and O. placidus possess granulations, producing a rough, sandpaper-like texture, whereas O. neglectus, O. barrenensis, O. mirus, O. luteus, and O. durelli possess only punctations providing a surface that feels relatively smooth. The rostrum lateral carinae of O. forceps, O. barrenensis, O. mirus, and O. neglectus are convergent throughout their length towards the acumen base, whereas O. pardalotus and O. placidus have convergence only on the proximal half with the distal half parallel. The basal lateral spine of the antenna is present on O. pardalotus and lacking on O. neglectus. The distomedian carpal spine is absent on O. pardalotus (except as noted above), O. durelli, O. barrenensis, and O. neglectus, whereas it is present on O. placidus and O. luteus. The distomedian carpal spine is usually absent on O. forceps, but when present, is usually only a bump or small spine (mostly on females). On O. mirus the distomedian carpal spine varies from well developed in females to moderately developed or lacking in males.

Life colour of O. pardalotus differs from all the other species that share morphological similarities with it and from all species that occur sympatrically or in adjacent areas of Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky. The base colour is tan to light brown with darker blotches and speckles on the dorsal/lateral surfaces of the chelae, carapace and abdomen without any belt or band of pigment on the dorsal posterior margin of the carapace or associated with the cervical groove.

Orconectes pardalotus can be separated from both O. forceps and O. placidus by the multiplication of areola length and rostrum width vs. carapace length. However, specimens of O. placidus from the Ohio River at Joppa, Illinois, where it occurs with O. pardalotus, group with that species more closely, whereas most specimens from Big Creek (Hardin Co., Illinois) are more distinctive.

Reproduction Comments: Evidence suggests copulation begins prior to mid October, and form I females collected in mid November were observed copulating with form I males while in confinement. Animals held indoors were observed to couple only while intermoult in a form I instar. Females close to oviposition (glair development maximal and/or subsequent oviposition) appeared particularly stimulating to male copulatory behavior. Form I females post-oviposition, with or without dependent offspring, were not observed to copulate. Two form I females oviposited under lab conditions. Oviposition was typical for the genus Orconectes with attachment of eggs to the pleopods while they were enveloped in a single bag of glair. Offspring were dependent on the parental female for 2 post-hatch instars and until approximately 24 hr after entering the third instar. Beginning 24 hr into the third instar juveniles made brief excursions away from the female when she was sedentary. The female readily fed at this time but appeared to exhibit no cannibalistic tendencies. The parental female would not swim when disturbed but was highly aggressive. Juveniles in the third and earlier instars would clump together when isolated from the parental female although the third instar juveniles would begin to disperse after only about an hour. Juveniles in the third instar moved slowly and restricted their movements to close proximity of or on the parental female. Dispersing juveniles were more active, avoided each other, and were inclined to find small structures and begin burrowing into the substrate.
Habitat Type: Freshwater
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Riverine Habitat(s): BIG RIVER
Special Habitat Factors: Benthic, Burrowing in or using soil
Habitat Comments: Only known from main river channel of Ohio River in anthropogenically modified areas with artificially high concentrations of rocks used to stabilize the stream bottom; under rocks where tertiary burrows constructed. Many collected above water line under rocks when stranded due to rapidly changing water levels (to promote navigation); seems tolerant of such habitat change (Wetzel et al., 2005).
Length: 6 centimeters
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Biological Research Needs: Life history data unknown largely.
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: 19May2010
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Cordeiro, J.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 14Feb2006
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
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  • 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.

  • NatureServe. Unpublished. Concept reference for taxa which have not yet been described; to be used as a placeholder until a citation is available which describes the circumscription of the taxon.

  • Poly, W.J. and J.E. Wetzel. 2003. Distribution and taxonomy of three species of Orconectes (Decapoda: Cambaridae) in Illinois, U.S.A. Journal of Crustacean Biology, 23(2): 380-390.

  • 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.

  • Wetzel, J.E., W.J. Poly, and J.W. Fetzner, Jr. 2005. Orconectes pardalotus, a new species of crayfish (Decapoda: Cambaridae) from the lower Ohio River, with notes on its life history. Aqua, Journal of Icthyology and Aquatic Biology 10(2): 57-72.

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