Faxonius placidus - (Hagen, 1870)
Bigclaw Crayfish
Other English Common Names: Placid Crayfish
Synonym(s): Orconectes placidus (Hagen, 1870)
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Orconectes placidus (Hagen, 1870) (TSN 97472)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.117282
Element Code: ICMAL11300
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: 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: Orconectes placidus
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.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 01Jul2009
Global Status Last Changed: 19Feb1996
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Reasons: Cumberland, lower Tennessee, and lower Ohio river systems in Alabama, Illinois, Kentucky, and Tennessee (Hobbs, 1989). This species has a relatively wide distribution and is known to be abundant with no known threats.
Nation: United States
National Status: N5 (19Feb1996)

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 (S2), Illinois (S2), Kentucky (SU), Mississippi (S1), Tennessee (S5)

Other Statuses

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

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 20,000-200,000 square km (about 8000-80,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: This species is known from Cumberland, lower Tennessee, and lower Ohio river systems in Alabama, Illinois, Kentucky, and Tennessee (Hobbs 1989). There were reported to be small, very localized populations in Missouri, however, these were found to be misidentified O. luteus (C. Taylor, pers. comm. 2009). In Mississippi, this species has been collected from Whetstone Branch, a tributary of Pickwick Reservoir on the Tennessee River (Adams and Jones 2018).

Number of Occurrences: > 300
Number of Occurrences Comments: In the Cumberland Plateau it occurs on the western edge in Cumberland and Tennessee (excluding Flint and Paint Rock basins) River systems in Kentucky and Tennessee with a likely introduction in the Sequatchie Valley of Tennessee (Bouchard, 1974). In Alabama, it is known only from the Tennessee River system in northern Alabama (Mirarchi et al., 2004, appendix 1.2, pub. separately; Schuster and Taylor, 2004; Schuster et al., 2008). In Kentucky, it is widespread and common in the Cumberland River drainage primarily below Cumberland Falls and in the Clarks River drainage in western Kentucky; also from two widely disjunct sites in the Barren River drainage (Taylor and Schuster, 2004).

Population Size: >1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Orconectes placidus is considered to be abundant in suitable habitat (Poly and Wetzel, 2003). Bouchard (1974) cited it as very common.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Unknown

Overall Threat Impact: Low
Overall Threat Impact Comments: There are no known major threats impacting Orconectes placidus.

Short-term Trend: Unknown

Long-term Trend: Unknown

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Not intrinsically vulnerable

Environmental Specificity: Unknown

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: (20,000-200,000 square km (about 8000-80,000 square miles)) This species is known from Cumberland, lower Tennessee, and lower Ohio river systems in Alabama, Illinois, Kentucky, and Tennessee (Hobbs 1989). There were reported to be small, very localized populations in Missouri, however, these were found to be misidentified O. luteus (C. Taylor, pers. comm. 2009). In Mississippi, this species has been collected from Whetstone Branch, a tributary of Pickwick Reservoir on the Tennessee River (Adams and Jones 2018).

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, IL, KY, MS, TN

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
IL Hardin (17069), Jackson (17077), Massac (17127)*, Pope (17151)*
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
05 Lower Ohio-Bay (05140203)+, Lower Ohio (05140206)+*
07 Upper Mississippi-Cape Girardeau (07140105)+
+ 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 acuminate, acarinate, margins subparallel and terminating in spines; cervical spines prominent; areola moderately wide with 3-5 punctations in narrowest part; chela with 2-3 row of tubercles along mesial margin of palm and margin <50% length of dactyl; male with hooks on ischia of 3rd pereiopods; male 1st pleopod terminating in 2 elements >35% of total length of pleopod, mesial process subparallel to main axis of pleopod but central projection subsetiform and arched throughout its length, lacking strong shoulder on cephalic margin of pleopod (Hobbs, 1972). [LENGTH: to 40 TCL; to 80 TL] [WIDTH: to 15]
Diagnostic Characteristics: Hooks on ischia of third pereiopods of males, moderately wide areola; chela with 2-3 rows of tubercles along mesial margin of palm and margin <50% length of dactyl; male 1st pleopod as described above.
Reproduction Comments: Amplexus in fall; brooding in spring.
Habitat Type: Freshwater
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Riverine Habitat(s): CREEK, Pool
Special Habitat Factors: Benthic
Habitat Comments: Found principally in shallow, rocky, upstream pools of streams.
Adult Food Habits: Detritivore
Immature Food Habits: Detritivore
Food Comments: Opportunistic; mostly detritus.
Phenology Comments: No data; probably most active after sunset.
Economic Attributes
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Economic Comments: No known economic value.
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: 20Apr1992
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): FITZPATRICK, J.F.

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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  • Adams, S. B., and R. L. Jones. 2018. Range extensions of three crayfishes (Faxonius yanahlindus, F. placidus, and F. erichsonianus) into Mississippi. Southeastern Naturalist 17(1):N6-N9.

  • Bouchard, R.W. 1974. Geography and ecology of crayfishes of the Cumberland Plateau and Cumberland Mountains, Kentucky, Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama. Part I. The genera Procambarus and Orconectes. Freshwater Crayfish 2:563-584.

  • 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.

  • Hobbs, Horton. H. Jr. 1989. An Illustrated Checklist of the American crayfishes (Decapoda: Astacidae, Cambaridae & Parastacidae). Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 480. Smithsonian Institute Press, Washington, D. C. 236 pp.

  • Hobbs, Jr., H. H. 1976a. Crayfishes (Astacidae) of North and Middle America. Biological Methods Branch, Environmental Protection Agency, Cincinnati, Ohio. 173 pp.

  • 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.

  • Mirarchi, R.E., M.A. Bailey, J.T. Garner, T.M. Haggerty, T.L. Best, M.F. Mettee, and P. O'Neil. 2004d. Alabama Wildlife. Volume Four: Conservation and Management Recommendations for Imperiled Wildlife. University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa, Alabama. 221 pp.

  • Page, L.M. 1985. The crayfishes and shrimps (Decapoda) of Illinois. Ill. Nat. Hist. Surv. Bull., 33(4):335-448.

  • 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.

  • Schuster, G. A. and C.A. Taylor. 2004. Report on the crayfishes of Alabama: literature and museum database review, species list with abbreviated annotations and proposed conservation statuses. Illinois Natural History Survey Technical Report, 2004(12): 47 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.

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