Common Name: MOUNTAIN MIDGET CRAYFISH
Scientific Name: Cambarus (Jugicambarus) parvoculus Hobbs and Shoup
Rarity Ranks: G5/S1
State Legal Status: None
Federal Legal Status: None
Description: The overall color of the Mountain Midget Crayfish is brownish or olive with no distinguishing markings. The claws have a single row of well-developed tubercles along the mesial margin of the palm. The areola is fairly wide and the rostrum is short and wide and has no marginal tubercles or spines. A single cervical tubercle is usually present. This species reaches a maximum total body length of about 64 mm (2.5 in).
Similar Species: The only other crayfish that has been collected with Cambarus parvoculus in Georgia is the Blackbarred Crayfish, Cambarus unestami. This species has two rows of tubercles along the mesial margin of the palm and is brown or tan with dark mottling.
Habitat: The Mountain Midget Crayfish is a stream dweller and is usually found among rocks or woody debris in slower moving areas in streams.
Diet: No studies of the Mountain Midget 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 Mountain Midget Crayfish in reproductive condition have been collected in October in Georgia and no females with eggs or young have been found in the state. The smallest reproductive male from Georgia is about 58 mm (2.3 in) in length (Hobbs 1981).
Survey Recommendations: This species can be collected by carefully removing large rocks (or other debris) in slower flowing areas and pools and either pinning the crayfish by hand or coaxing into a dipnet. The use of minnow traps set overnight would probably be effective as well.
Range: Mountain Midget Crayfish is found primarily on the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee and barely makes it into Georgia in the northwestern portion of the state. There it inhabits small to medium sized streams that flow westward to the Tennessee River (Hobbs 1981; 1989).
Threats: This species is apparently secure across its range.
Conservation and Management Recommendations: Conserving populations of the Mountain Midget 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