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procambarus hayi tank


Scientific Name:  Procambarus (Ortmannicus) hayi (Faxon)

Rarity Ranks:  G5/Non-Native

State Legal Status:  None

Federal Legal Status:  None

Description:  The dorsal surface of the carapace is light to dark brown with dark irregular speckles and splotches.  There are dark stripes on the upper sides.  Below the stripes, the carapace is pinkish brownish. There is a wide, dark stripe down the center of the abdomen bordered by pinkish stripes which are in turn bordered by thin dark lines.  The claws can be quite large in males and are covered with dark tubercles; however, they look rather thin and fragile.  The areola is fairly narrow and the rostrum tapers and has marginal spines or tubercles.  A single cervical tubercle is usually present and may be a sharp spine on juveniles.  This species reaches a maximum total body length of about 75 mm (3 in).

Similar Species:  The only other Procambarus species that could occur with the Straightedge Crayfish are the White Tubercled Crayfish (P. spiculifer) and Black Mottled Crayfish (P. enoplosternum).  White Tubercled Crayfish has white tubercles on the claws (rather than dark) and has two cervical spines on either side of the carapace as opposed to one.  The Black Mottled Crayfish has a dark saddle at the rear of the carapace and usually two discrete spots along the upper sides rather than stripes.

Habitat:  This species can be found in sluggish streams or lentic situations as well temporary habitats like roadside ditches.  It has also been collected from simple burrows in ditches and in other wet areas near streams or ponds.

Diet:  Crayfishes are considered opportunistic omnivores and likely feed on live and decaying vegetation, aquatic insect larvae, small fishes, and dead animal matter.

Life History:  Payne (1972) reported on the life history of this species.

Survey Recommendations:  Since this species is found in a variety of habitats, using a seine or dipnet in streams and/or ponds can yield the species.  Excavating burrows adjacent to temporary habitats or stream margins may also produce this species.

Range:  The Straightedge Crayfish is native to the Tombigbee and Tallahatchie river systems in Alabama and Mississippi and the Hatchie River system in Tennessee (Hobbs 1989).  In Georgia it has been collected in tributaries to the Oconee River in Newton and Morgan counties. 

Threats:  This species is apparently secure across its range.

Conservation and Management Recommendations:  Since this species is not native to Georgia, no conservation measures are warranted.  If individuals are found, they should be humanely euthanized by freezing.

Selected References:

Hobbs, H.H., Jr. 1989. An illustrated checklist of the American crayfishes (Decapoda: Astacidae, Cambaridae, and Parastacidae). Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 480:1-236.

Payne, J.F. 1972. Life history of Procambarus hayi. American Midland Naturalist, 87(1).

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 hayi map

Date Compiled or Updated:  October 2012

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