An annotated checklist and preliminary designation of drainage distributions of the crayfishes of Alabama

Guenter A. Schuster, Christopher A. Taylor, John Johansen

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As a first step toward elucidating the current status of Alabama's crayfish fauna, museums known to have significant crayfish collections were queried for their holdings from that state. A total of 4649 records of Alabama crayfishes were obtained from seven museums. Three-hundred thirty of the records did not have suitable information for geo-referencing. The largest holdings were in the National Museum of Natural History (2544 records). Specimen identifications were verified, and all records were geo-referenced. Geographic distribution strongly favored upland drainages in the northern and central portions of the state. The Tennessee River drainage was the most collected drainage (1018 records, 23.6% of records). A total of 85 species of crayfishes are reported for the state of Alabama; only Orconectes virilis (Virile Crayfish) is deemed to be non-native. Even with the extensive collection of crayfish records in museums, there is a need for crayfish inventory work in Alabama. A total of 3107 records (76.3%) were collected prior to 1987, and 1379 (33.8%) were collected prior to 1970. In addition, there is a paucity of records from the coastal drainages of SE Alabama. There is also an under-representation of burrowing crayfishes, especially those classified as either primary or secondary burrowers. Only 212 (4.9%) of all records are of burrowing species. Lastly, a limited amount of fieldwork in Alabama has documented the presence of a species previously unreported for the state.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)493-504
Number of pages12
JournalSoutheastern Naturalist
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2008


  • INHS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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