Orconectes immunis - (Hagen, 1870)
Calico Crayfish
Other English Common Names: Papershell Crayfish
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Orconectes immunis (Hagen, 1870) (TSN 97446)
French Common Names: écrevisse-calicot
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.120402
Element Code: ICMAL11450
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Invertebrates - Crustaceans - Crayfishes
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Crustacea Malacostraca Decapoda Cambaridae Orconectes
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 immunis
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 inspection
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Reasons: This is a wide-ranging species that occurs from southern Quebec and New England westward across the upper Midwest to Wyoming and eastern Colorado and south to extreme northwestern Tennessee (Hobbs, 1989). It is widespread and faces no threats.
Nation: United States
National Status: N5 (19Feb1996)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N4N5 (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 Colorado (SNA), Connecticut (SNA), Illinois (S5), Indiana (S5), Iowa (SNR), Kansas (S4), Kentucky (SU), Maine (SNA), Massachusetts (SNA), Michigan (S4), Minnesota (SNR), Missouri (SNR), Montana (SNR), Nebraska (SNR), New Hampshire (SNA), New York (SNR), North Dakota (S3), Ohio (S4), Pennsylvania (SNA), Rhode Island (SNA), South Dakota (SNR), Tennessee (S5), Vermont (SNA), Wisconsin (S4), Wyoming (SNR)
Canada Manitoba (S3), Ontario (S4), Quebec (S4)

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: This is a wide-ranging species that occurs from southern Quebec and New England westward across the upper Midwest to Wyoming and eastern Colorado and the Dakotas and south to extreme northwestern Tennessee (Hobbs, 1989; Pflieger, 1996).

Area of Occupancy: >12,500 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments:  

Number of Occurrences: > 300
Number of Occurrences Comments: Although Hobbs (1989) listed Alabama, no recent specimens have been found there. In Kentucky, it occurs commonly across the western half in the lower Ohio, Green, Cumberland, and Tennessee River drainages and in several Mississippi River tributaries but is most common in the lower Green River drainage (Taylor and Schuster, 2004). In Missouri, it occurs exclusively in teh Prairie Faunal Region and on the flood plains of the Missouri and upper Mississippi Rivers (Pflieger, 1996). In Kansas, it occurs in northeastern Kansas in the eastern Kansas and Marais des Cygnes River basins (Ghedotti, 1998). Populations have recently been found in Colorado in the Colorado River (Rogers, 2005). In New England, where scattered (occasionally large) populations are known from every major drainage system except the eastern coastal drainage systems, occurrences are likely the result of early introductions (Smith, 2000). Occurrences in the Lower Monongahela drainage in Pennsylvania were reported to USGS as introductions. In Ohio, it occurs widely, but spottily in the Lake Erie basin in the northern and northwetern part of the state (Thoma and Jezerinac, 2000). It occurs statewide in Indiana with the greatest abundance in southwest Indiana (Simon et al., 2005). It also occurs in the northern portion Lake of the Woods, Ontario, Canada (Jansen et al., 2009) where it is considered invasive.

Population Size: >1,000,000 individuals

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Very many (>125)
Viability/Integrity Comments: In Indiana, it was found to be the second most frequently occurring species (83 of 176 sites) in a survey of Clay, Greene, Knox, Owen, Sullivan, and Vigo Cos. (Burskey and Simon, 2010).

Overall Threat Impact: Low
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Is is unlikely that Orconectes immunis is being impacted by any major threats.

Short-term Trend: Increase of >10%
Short-term Trend Comments: Since its first discovery in the mid-1990s in southwestern Germany, it has rapidly expanded its range and is now one of the most abundant crayfish species in the upper Rhine system (Churcholl, 2009).

Long-term Trend: Increase of >25%

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) This is a wide-ranging species that occurs from southern Quebec and New England westward across the upper Midwest to Wyoming and eastern Colorado and the Dakotas and south to extreme northwestern Tennessee (Hobbs, 1989; Pflieger, 1996).

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 CO, CTexotic, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MAexotic, MEexotic, MI, MN, MO, MT, ND, NE, NHexotic, NY, OH, PAexotic, RIexotic, SD, TN, VTexotic, WI, WY
Canada MB, ON, QC

Range Map
No map available.

Ecology & Life History
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General Description: Rostrum acuminate, acarinate and with cong=vergin margins lacking marginal spines or shoulders; cervical spines present; areola narrow with 2-3 punctations in narrowest part; male with hooks on ischia of 3rd pereiopods; male first pleopod terminating in 2 subparallel elements <25% length of pleopod, curved throughout length but distal 1/3 more pronounced so that apices of both elements directed at about 90 degrees to main axis of pleopod (Page, 1985). [LENGTH: to 50 TCL; to 95 TL] [WIDTH: to 25]
Diagnostic Characteristics: Male with hooks on 3rd pereiopods only; male first pleopod as described above; areola narrow.
Reproduction Comments: Data suggest amplexus anytime, brooding year-round but with late winter/early sping being principal brooding.
Habitat Type: Freshwater
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Riverine Habitat(s): CREEK, MEDIUM RIVER, Pool, SPRING/SPRING BROOK
Lacustrine Habitat(s): Shallow water
Palustrine Habitat(s): TEMPORARY POOL
Subterranean Habitat(s): Subaquatic
Special Habitat Factors: Benthic, Burrowing in or using soil
Habitat Comments: The species is always in, at best, sluggish flow; burrows during drying periods (i.e., tertiary burrower). In Missouri, it occurs in shallow ditches and sloughs on the broad, flat flood plains of large to medium-sized rivers and in the isolated pools of intermittent headwater streams draining level upland prairies. Wide seasonal fluctuations in water area and depth (with many areas becoming entirely dry during late summer), deep mud bottoms and absence of strong flow or current are common characteristics of these habitats. However, large populations also occurred in habitats where high turbidity provided the only cover (Pflieger, 1996). It can sometimes be found in caves such as Blue Spring and Pless Caves in Indiana (Hobbs, 1976).
Adult Food Habits: Detritivore
Immature Food Habits: Detritivore
Food Comments: Opportunistic but mostly detritus. Has been observed scraping algal growth from stones (Crocker, 1968).
Adult Phenology: Circadian
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: 07Jul2009
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).

References
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