Procambarus viaeviridis - (Faxon, 1914)
Vernal Crayfish
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Procambarus viaeviridis (Faxon, 1914) (TSN 97575)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.118136
Element Code: ICMAL14260
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Invertebrates - Crustaceans - Crayfishes
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Crustacea Malacostraca Decapoda Cambaridae Procambarus
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: Procambarus viaeviridis
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: It occurs in the Gulf Coastal Plain from extreme southern Illinois southeastern Missouri along both sides of the Mississippi to northeastern Louisiana and eastward to Alabama (Hobbs, 1989). This species is broadly distributed and locally abundant in suitable habitat, with no known major 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 (S1), Arkansas (SNR), Illinois (S2), Kentucky (S1), Louisiana (S1), Mississippi (SNR), Missouri (S3?), 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: It occurs in the Gulf Coastal Plain from extreme southern Illinois southeastern Missouri along both sides of the Mississippi to northeastern Louisiana and eastward to Alabama (Hobbs, 1989).

Number of Occurrences: > 300
Number of Occurrences Comments: Reported from Tennessee River system in Northern Alabama (Mirarchi et al., 2004, appen. 1.2, pub. separately; Schuster adn Taylor, 2004) as well as the Black Warrior system (Schuster et al., 2008). In Kentucky, a handful of records are known from the lower Ohio, lower Cumberland, lowr Tennessee, and Mississippi River drainages west of the Cumberland River (Taylor and Schuster, 2004). In Missouri, it occurs in the Lowland Faunal Region as far north as Bollinger Co., but most records are concentrated along the Ozark border in Ripley, Butler, and Stoddard Cos. (Pflieger, 1996).

Population Size: 100,000 to >1,000,000 individuals

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Unknown

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

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: (20,000-200,000 square km (about 8000-80,000 square miles)) It occurs in the Gulf Coastal Plain from extreme southern Illinois southeastern Missouri along both sides of the Mississippi to northeastern Louisiana and eastward to Alabama (Hobbs, 1989).

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, AR, IL, KY, LA, MO, MS, TN

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
KY Ballard (21007), Calloway (21035), Fulton (21075)*, Graves (21083), Hickman (21105), Livingston (21139), Marshall (21157)
LA Concordia (22029)*, Morehouse (22067)*, Ouachita (22073)*, Richland (22083)*
MO Bollinger (29017), Butler (29023), Dunklin (29069), Mississippi (29133), Ripley (29181)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
05 Lower Cumberland (05130205)+, Lower Ohio (05140206)+
06 Kentucky Lake (06040005)+, Lower Tennessee (06040006)+
08 Bayou De Chien-Mayfield (08010201)+, New Madrid-St. Johns (08020201)+, Lower St. Francis (08020203)+, Little River Ditches (08020204)+, Lower Ouachita-Bayou De Loutre (08040202)+*, Lower Ouachita (08040207)+*, Bayou Cocodrie (08040306)+*, Boeuf (08050001)+*
11 Upper Black (11010007)+, Current (11010008)+
+ 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 with tiny acumen, margins converging to be nearly subtriangular; lacking cervical spines; areola narrow with room for about 5-6 punctactions in narrowest part; male with hooks on ischia of 3rd pereioipods; male 1st pleopod terminating in 4 moderately short elements, all subparallel to main axis of pleopod; subapical setae borne on distinct cephalodistal knob broadly removed proximally from terminal elements (Hobbs, 1976). [LENGTH: to 35 TCL; to 70 TL] [WIDTH: to 20]
Diagnostic Characteristics: Male with hooks on ischia of 3rd pereiopod only; first pleopod with subapical setae borne on prominent cephalodistal knob situated proximal to terminal elements so that broad gap exist between; areola narrow; rostrum subtrangular.
Reproduction Comments: Little data; apparently amplexus in fall; probably boods in spring.
Habitat Type: Freshwater
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Riverine Habitat(s): CREEK, Low gradient, Pool
Lacustrine Habitat(s): Shallow water
Palustrine Habitat(s): Bog/fen, TEMPORARY POOL
Special Habitat Factors: Benthic
Habitat Comments: It inhabits sluggish streams and lentic situations; and is tolerant of heat and of low oxygen levels. It has an affinity for shallow, seasonally flooded swamps and sloughs, and avoids flowign-water habitats (Pflieger, 1996).
Adult Food Habits: Detritivore
Immature Food Habits: Detritivore
Food Comments: Opportunistic; immatures perhaps more so than adults.
Adult Phenology: Circadian
Immature 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: 15Sep2008
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Cordeiro, J. (2008); 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
Help
  • Adams, S.B., C.A. Taylor, and C. Lukhaup. 2010. Crayfish Fauna of the Tennessee River Drainage in Mississippi, Including New State Species Records. Southeastern Naturalist 9(3):521-528

  • 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.

  • Pflieger, W.L. [B. Dryden, editor]. 1996. The Crayfishes of Missouri. Missouri Department of Conservation, Jefferson City, Missouri. 152 pp.

  • 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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