Crayfishes of Alabama - What We Do and Don't Know?

G. A. Schuster, C. A. Taylor, J. W. Johansen

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


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, of which 330 did not have enough information to be geo-referenced. The largest holdings were found in the National Museum of Natural History (2544 records). Specimen identifications were verified, and once verified, 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 single most- collected (1018 records, 23.6% of records) drainage. A total of 85 species of crayfishes are reported for the state of Alabama; only Orconectes virilis is deemed to be non-native. Even with the total number of crayfish records in museums, there is a need for crayfish inventory work in Alabama. Of all the records, a total of 3107 (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, primarily those classified as either primary or secondary burrowers. Only 212 (4.9%) of all records are of burrowing species. Lastly, a limited amount of field work in Alabama has documented the presence of a species previously unreported for the state.
Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2008


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