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Procambarus truculentus tank

Common Name:  BOG CRAYFISH

Scientific Name:  Procambarus (Hagenides) truculentus Hobbs

Rarity Ranks:  G3/S3

State Legal Status:  None

Federal Legal Status:  None

Description:  The overall color of the Bog Crayfish is grayish-brown to olive with no distinguishing markings.  Sometimes the carapace (particularly the front half) is light blue.  The lower sides of the body are lighter than the back and the claws may have a purplish or bluish tint (or be quite blue) and are covered with dark tubercles.  Lighter areas on the carapace and claws may be orangish.  The areola is narrow but not obliterated.  The rostrum is short, wide, and tapering and appears somewhat spatulate; there are no marginal spines or tubercles.  This species reaches a maximum total body length of about 68 mm (2.7 in).

Similar Species:  Within its range, the only species possibly confused with Bog Crayfish is the Christmas Tree Crayfish, Procambarus pygmaeus.  However, the latter typically has striking green and red coloration. 

Habitat:  The Bog Crayfish is considered a primary burrower and inhabits complex burrow systems in low wet areas where the water table is near the surface of the ground.

Diet:  No studies of the Bog Crayfish are known and the diet of burrowing crayfishes in general is poorly understood.  Crayfishes are considered opportunistic omnivores and likely feed on a variety of items, both plant and animal, living or dead.  Burrowing crayfishes may forage around the mouths of their burrows, eat organisms that crawl or fall into the burrow, or eat worms that inadvertently tunnel through a burrow wall. 

Life History:  Male Bog Crayfish in reproductive condition have been collected in April and two adult individuals found in non-reproductive form were molted to reproductive form in October and November, respectively (Hobbs 1981).  A single female with 30 eggs was collected in April.  The smallest reproductive male is about 57 mm (2.2 in) and the female with eggs is about 52 mm (2.0 in) in length (Hobbs 1981).

Survey Recommendations:  Burrowing crayfishes may be collected by direct excavation of their burrows, by trapping, and during night surveys.  Excavating burrows is time consuming and can be very difficult.  It also results in destruction of the animals’ burrow.  Traps made with PVC pipes or mist nets can be effective.  Burrowing crayfishes are sometimes captured around the openings of their burrows on damp nights.  Active burrows are typically found from about mid-March to mid-November if the water table is within about two feet of the surface of the ground.

Range:  The Bog Crayfish is endemic to Georgia and is found from the Oconee to Ogeechee rivers in southeastern Georgia.

Threats:  Although not very widespread, this species is apparently secure across its range.

Conservation and Management Recommendations:  If possible, areas with burrows should be protected from land disturbing activities.  Additional surveys and life history studies are needed to better understand virtually all burrowing crayfishes to allow predictions of their response to environmental change.  Environmental education programs should include information about burrowing crayfishes.

Selected References:

Hobbs, H. H., Jr. 1981. The crayfishes of Georgia. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 318:1-549.

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):372-389.

procambarus truculentus map

Date Compiled or Updated:  September 2012

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