Abstract Many crayfish species native to the southeastern United States are imperiled due to small range sizes and anthropogenic impacts such as habitat loss and introduction of non-native species. Furthermore, effective management of crayfish is limited by the scarcity of life-history and ecological data for many of these species. We report results of the first life-history study of the crayfish Cambarus hubbsi (Hubbs Crayfish). We collected 466 Hubbs Crayfish from the South Fork Spring River, AR throughout 2006 and recorded carapace lengths, wet weights, indicators of reproductive activity, and number of eggs on ovigerous females. Using length-frequency distributions, we identified four Hubbs Crayfish age classes and evaluated growth rates by plotting size by season (winter, spring, summer, autumn). Male Hubbs Crayfish were more common than females in all seasons except autumn, and males weighed more at equivalent lengths than females. Reproductive activity in Hubbs Crayfish peaked in late winter and spring, and ovigerous females were collected in March, April, and June. Ovigerous females were age II or III and carried few eggs relative to co-occurring crayfish of the genus Orconectes. Compared to these Orconectes species, Hubbs Crayfish is comparatively slow growing, long lived, with low reproductive potential, and as a result may be categorized as a K life-history strategist. Based on this species' life-history strategy and previously documented habitat specificity and taxonomic distinctiveness, Hubbs Crayfish may require monitoring and management attention normally reserved for species with smaller ranges.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics