Common Name: GREENSADDLE CRAYFISH
Scientific Name: Cambarus (Hiaticambarus) manningi Hobbs
Rarity Ranks: G4/S2
State Legal Status: None
Federal Legal Status: None
Description: This is a strikingly colored crayfish with bases of all legs and the tail fan light blue. The carapace is greenish to brown and has a dark saddle behind the areola. The edges of the rostrum are bright orange to red and the rear edge of each abdominal segment is bright red. The abdominal segments are greenish-blue to bluish-black. The claws are dark greenish to light brown. There is a single row of nearly indistinguishable tubercles along the mesial margin of the palm and there is gap between the fingers of the claws when the fingers are closed. There is usually a tuft of hairlike setae at the base of the fixed finger of the claw. The areola is wide and the rostrum tapers and does not have marginal spines or tubercles. This species reaches a maximum total body length of about 57 mm (2.2 in).
Similar Species: In Georgia, no other species occurs with Greensaddle Crayfish that has a large gap between the fingers of the claw when the fingers are closed.
Habitat: The Greensaddle Crayfish is a stream dweller that lives among rocks in the fast moving areas of streams.
Diet: No studies of the Greensaddle Crayfish are known. Crayfishes are considered opportunistic omnivores and likely feed on live and decaying vegetation, aquatic insect larvae, small fishes, and dead animal matter.
Life History: Male Greensaddle Crayfish in reproductive condition have been collected in May, September, and October. A single female with eggs was collected in May. The smallest breeding male known is about 35 mm (1.4 in) and the only female with eggs is about 42 mm (1.7 in) in length (Hobbs 1981).
Survey Recommendations: Since this species is usually found in swiftly flowing water, it is most easily collected by holding a net perpendicular to the current downstream of a large rock, then lifting the rock and disturbing the substrate beneath it. If a crayfish is hiding underneath the rock, it will likely move into the net. Shocking downstream into a seine net with a backpack electroshocker is also effective.
Range: The Greensaddle Crayfish is known from the upper Coosa River system in Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee. In Georgia it has been collected in the Conasauga River proper, Coahulla Creek, the Armuchee Creek system, and the Big Cedar Creek system (Hobbs 1981).
Threats: This species is uncommon but not considered imperiled at this time by any of the states in which it occurs. The biggest threat facing Greensaddle Crayfish, and other stream dwelling species, is the introduction of non-native invasive crayfish species.
Conservation and Management Recommendations: Conserving populations of the Greensaddle Crayfish will require general watershed level protection measures, including the protection of riparian zones, control of sediment and nutrient runoff from farms and construction sites, and limiting the amount of impervious cover (e.g., pavement) within occupied watersheds. Non-native crayfishes should never be used for bait; instead, anglers should use crayfishes collected from the river system where they will be fishing. Unused bait of any kind should not be released back into Georgia waters.
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.
Date Compiled or Updated: August 2012