Faxonius rusticus - (Girard, 1852)
Rusty Crayfish
Synonym(s): Orconectes rusticus (Girard, 1852)
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Orconectes rusticus (Girard, 1852) (TSN 97424)
French Common Names: Écrevisse à taches rouges
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.117283
Element Code: ICMAL11290
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 rusticus
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: 26May2015
Global Status Last Changed: 19Feb1996
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by calculator
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Reasons: The native range was described by Taylor (2000) to include the lower middle Ohio River drainage of central Kentucky, western Ohio, an deastern and central Indiana and the western Lake Erie drainage in southeastern Michigan and northwestern Ohio. It has been introduced (mostly as fishing bait) across the United States with large populations in Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin (Taylor and Schuster, 2004). This species of crayfish is highly invasive and consistently outcompetes other species outside of its native range. It has a generalist nature, an ability dominate and out compete other crayfish species and an expanding range.
Nation: United States
National Status: N5 (19Feb1996)
Nation: Canada
National Status: NNA (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 Connecticut (SNA), Illinois (SNA), Iowa (SNA), Kentucky (SU), Maine (SNA), Maryland (SNA), Massachusetts (SNA), Michigan (S2), Minnesota (SNA), New Hampshire (SNA), New Jersey (SNA), New Mexico (SNA), New York (SNA), North Carolina (SNA), Ohio (S5), Oregon (SNA), Pennsylvania (SNA), Tennessee (S5), Vermont (SNA), Virginia (SNA), West Virginia (SNA), Wisconsin (SNA), Wyoming (SNR)
Canada Manitoba (SNA), Ontario (SNA), Quebec (SNA)

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: The native range was described by Taylor (2000) to include the lower middle Ohio River drainage of central Kentucky, western Ohio, and eastern and central Indiana and the western Lake Erie drainage in southeastern Michigan and northwestern Ohio. It has been introduced (mostly as fishing bait) across the United States with large populations in Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin (Taylor and Schuster, 2004; Lodge et al., 2000).

Number of Occurrences: > 300
Number of Occurrences Comments: Recently, zebra mussels were found in areas occupied by this species on the Rideau River in eastern Ontario (Schueler and Karstad, 2007). This species was recently confirmed as an exotic in a single locality in Manitoba (William Watkins, MB CDC, pers. comm., January 2008). It also occurs in the northern portion Lake of the Woods, Ontario, Canada (Jansen et al., 2009). Wisconsin distribution is summarized by Puth and Allen (2004). In Indiana it should be considered native to the Whitewater River watershed (Whitewater, Greater Miami, and Maumee River drainages) and non-indigenous outside that watershed (Simon, 2001; Simon et al., 2005). In Ohio, it was initially confined to the limestone bedrock areas of the Great Miami and Scioto River basins but has invaded the entire central and western half of the state as well as the Lake Erie basin and spotty occurrences in teh eastern part of the state (Thoma and Jezerinac, 2000). In the Cumberland Plateau it occurs in tributaries of Norris Lake, Campbell Co., Tennessee, and western edge of Cumberlands in Rockcastle (Cumberland) and Kentucky River systems, Kentucky. (Bouchard, 1974). In Kentucky, it is native, widespread, and common in the lower Licking, Salt, and middle and upper Green River drainages; and also occurs at a few sites in the middle Kentucky and middle Ohio River drainages with a single upper Little Laural River (Cumberland River drainage) site in Laurel Co. (introduced) (Taylor and Schuster, 2004). It is introduced in North Carolina in 3 sites on the Broad River in Rutherford Co. and Sawmill Creek in the Little Tennessee River basin, Swain Co. (Cooper and Armstrong, 2007). It has successfully invaded the entire state of Wisconsin and constitutes a significant component of the crayfish fauna (Olden et al., 2006). It has invaded Maryland from neighboring Pennsylvania into the Monocacy River (Knauer, 2007) and has displaced native Orconectes limosus and Orconectres obscurus, as well as the other non-native Orconectes virilis from the upper Monocacy River system (Kilian et al., 2010). It is a recently introduced species in southern New England and is spreading throughout the Connecticut River system (Smith, 2000). In 2005, an introduced population was found in the upper mainstem John Day River in Oregon in abundance as well as South Fork John Day River near the confluence, Beech Creek, and downstream of Dayville (Olden et al., 2009).

Population Size: >1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: It is a common species and has become the dominant crayfish species in much of its range in recent years (Kulhmann, 2008; Kuhlmann et al., 2008).

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

Overall Threat Impact: Low
Overall Threat Impact Comments: There are no major threats.

Short-term Trend: Increase of >10%

Long-term Trend: Increase of >25%
Long-term Trend Comments: Over the past 40-50 years, it has spread from its historical range in the Ohio River drainage to waters throughout much of Illinois, Michigan, and Minnesota and parts of 11 other states, Ontario and the Laurentian Great Lakes (Lodge et al., 2000).

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Not intrinsically vulnerable

Environmental Specificity: Broad. Generalist or community with all key requirements common.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) The native range was described by Taylor (2000) to include the lower middle Ohio River drainage of central Kentucky, western Ohio, and eastern and central Indiana and the western Lake Erie drainage in southeastern Michigan and northwestern Ohio. It has been introduced (mostly as fishing bait) across the United States with large populations in Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin (Taylor and Schuster, 2004; Lodge et al., 2000).

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 CTexotic, IAexotic, ILexotic, KY, MAexotic, MDexotic, MEexotic, MI, MNexotic, NCexotic, NHexotic, NJexotic, NMexotic, NYexotic, OH, ORexotic, PAexotic, TN, VAexotic, VTexotic, WIexotic, WVexotic, WY
Canada MBexotic, ONexotic, QCexotic

Range Map
No map available.

Ecology & Life History
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General Description: Rostrum acuminate, acuminate, margins subparallel and terminating in spines; cervical spines present; areola moderately wide with 4-6 punctations in narrowest part; chela with 2 rows tubercles along mesial margin of palm, chela proportionately large; hooks on ischia of male 3rd pereiopods; male 1st pleopod terminating in 2 straight subequal elements constituting <35% of total length of pleopod, mesial process slightly shorter and straight, central projection arched, cephalic surface of pleopod with strong angular shoulder proximal to base of central projection (Hobbs, 1976). [LENGTH: to 45 TCL; to 90 TL] [WIDTH: to 20]
Diagnostic Characteristics: Hooks only on 3rd pereiopod of male; rostruim acarinate, acuminate; areola moderately wide; chela heavy; male 1st pleopod as described above.
Reproduction Comments: Amplexus in Sep, Oct; brooding as early as Oct in few precocious females, but mostly in Apr, May; some data to suggest that male dominance leads to amplexus with competing spp females and removal of her from breeding population by delivering wrong spermatophore to her receptaculum seminis.
Ecology Comments: Extremely aggressive species; usually able to outcompete and eliminate native species when introduced into new drainage.
Habitat Type: Freshwater
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Riverine Habitat(s): CREEK, Low gradient, MEDIUM RIVER, Pool, Riffle
Lacustrine Habitat(s): Shallow water
Special Habitat Factors: Benthic
Habitat Comments: It is a generalist species that inhabits streams, ponds, and lakes with a range of substrates (Thoma and Jezerinac, 2000). This species is tolerant to pollution such as septic tank discharge and organic pollution (Jezerinac et al., 1995). It is also reported as common in fish ponds.
Adult Food Habits: Detritivore
Immature Food Habits: Detritivore
Food Comments: Opportunistic but mostly detritus.
Adult Phenology: Circadian
Immature Phenology: Circadian
Phenology Comments: Various studies have shown that introduced O. rusticus has a higher growth rate than its congeners contributing to its dominance over other crayfish species (Hill et al., 1993; Mather and Stein, 1993); however studies by Pintor and Sih (2009) indicate higher growth rates is a characteristic of introduced but not native populations of O. rusticus (higer foraging activity and exploitation of bait of introduced versus native populations; as well as bait piracy).
Economic Attributes
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Economic Comments: Used apparently extensively by fishermen as bait, which activity has led to introductions well outside its range where it usually extirpates native species.
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: 01Jul2009
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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NatureServe. 2019. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available http://explorer.natureserve.org. (Accessed:

Citation for Bird Range Maps of North America:
Ridgely, R.S., T.F. Allnutt, T. Brooks, D.K. McNicol, D.W. Mehlman, B.E. Young, and J.R. Zook. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Birds of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Bird Range Maps of North America:
"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy - Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International - CABS, World Wildlife Fund - US, and Environment Canada - WILDSPACE."

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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