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Scientific Name:  Cambarus (Depressicambarus) reflexus Hobbs

Rarity Ranks:  G4/S2

State Legal Status:  None

Federal Legal Status:  None

Description:  The overall color of the Pine Savannah Crayfish is reddish-brown to orangish.  The tubercles on the claws are brighter orange as are the margins of the rostrum.  The first abdominal segment is often nearly black (Hobbs 1981).  In one population, this species is entire aqua-bluish except for the claw tubercles which are a cream color.  The areola is virtually non-existent on this species and the rostrum is short and broad without marginal spines or tubercles.  The abdomen is obviously narrower than the cephalothorax and the claws may be robust.  There are two rows of tubercles along the mesial margin of the palm.  This species reaches a maximum total body length of about 75 mm (3 in).

Similar Species:  No other crayfish within the range of this species has a similar color pattern.

Habitat:  Complex burrows adjacent to streams or in low areas where the water table is near the surface of the ground.

Diet:  No studies of the Pine Savannah 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:  Males in reproductive condition have been collected in April, August, and September and two females with eggs in April.  A female carrying young was collected in August.  The smallest reproductive male is about 66 mm (2.6 in) and the smallest female with eggs is about 73 mm (3.1 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 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 Pine Savannah Crayfish is currently known from the Ogeechee River system on Georgia to the PeeDee in South Carolina.  In Georgia it has been found in about 10 locations in Ogeechee and Savannah river basins.

Threats:  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 define the range of the Pine Savannah Crayfish and help predict its response to environmental change.  Environmental education programs should include information about burrowing crayfishes and encourage protection of burrows.

Selected References:

Eversole, A. G. and D. R. Jones. 2004. Key to the Crayfish of South Carolina. US Forest Service Publication. 79 p.

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.

cambarus reflexus map

Date Compiled or Updated:  September 2012

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