Common Name: HUMMOCK CRAYFISH
Scientific Name: Procambarus (Ortmannicus) lunzi (Hobbs)
Rarity Ranks: G4/S3
State Legal Status: None
Federal Legal Status: None
Description: The carapace of the Hummock Crayfish is reddish-brownish dorsally with light and dark irregular splotches. There is a pale central stripe on the carapace and a dark (blackish) stripe on each side; the saddle at rear of carapace is poorly developed or nonexistent. Below the stripes on the sides, the carapace has a brownish-pinkish hue with light irregular splotches. The abdomen has a wide dark or reddish dorsal stripe and darker thin stripes on the lower sides. The claws are brownish with dark splotches and dark tubercles. The areola is fairly narrow but never obliterated. The rostrum is long, tapering, and usually has marginal spines or tubercles. A single, small cervical spine or tubercle is usually present (Hobbs 1981). This species reaches a maximum total body length of about 74 mm (2.9 in).
Similar Species: The Hummock Crayfish has been collected with several other members of the genus Procambarus including many of its close relatives in the same subgenus. Differs from Eastern Red Swamp Crawfish by having dark tubercles on the claws rather than reddish-orangish tubercles. Differs from Blackwater Crayfish and Seminole Crayfish by having a dark longitudinal stripe on either side of the carapace rather than two discrete spots on either side. Differs from Black Mottled Crayfish and Humpback Crayfish by lacking an obvious dark saddle at rear of carapace.
Habitat: Hummock Crayfish lives in a wide variety of habitats including ponds, ditches, swamps, and sluggish areas of streams. In areas where the water is present only part of the year, it is often found in simple burrows (Hobbs 1981).
Diet: No studies of the Hummock 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: Including data from Georgia and South Carolina, male Hummock Crayfish in reproductive condition have been collected in every month of the year except March, July, September, and October. A single female with eggs was collected from a burrow in August and no females with young have been found. The smallest breeding male known is about 52 mm (2 in) and the only Georgia female carrying eggs is about 53 mm (2.1 in) in length (Hobbs 1981).
Survey Recommendations: Since this species is found in a variety of habitats, using a seine or dipnet in streams, ponds, ditches, and other slackwater habitats can yield the species. Excavating burrows adjacent to temporary habitats or stream margins may also produce this species.
Range: The Hummock Crayfish ranges from the North Fork Edisto River in South Carolina, south to the South Carolina coast, to just south of the Altamaha River drainage in Georgia (Eversole and Jones 2004; Hobbs 1981).
Threats: This species is considered secure across its range.
Conservation and Management Recommendations: General watershed level protection measures will help secure the continued existence of the Hummock Crayfish in Georgia. These include 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 they will be fishing in and should never release unused bait crayfish back into Georgia waters.
Eversole, A. G. and D. R. Jones. 2004. Key to the crayfish of South Carolina. Clemson University, Clemson, SC. 43 pp.
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