Potamon potamios 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Arthropoda Malacostraca Decapoda Potamidae

Scientific Name: Potamon potamios (Olivier, 1804)
Potamon fluviatile Savigny, 1816
Potamon potamios Pretzmann, 1962 ssp. cyprion
Potamon potamios Pretzmann, 1962 ssp. karamani
Potamon potamios Ghiavarini, 1934 ssp. karpathos
Potamon potamios Ghiavarini, 1934 ssp. kretaion
Potamon potamios Bott, 1967 ssp. palaestinense
Potamon potamios (Olivier, 1804) ssp. potamios
Potamon potamios Pretzmann, 1986 ssp. schoenmanni
Taxonomic Notes: Subfamily Potaminae. Seven subspecies of P. potamios have been recognised over the years (Ghiavarini 1934; Pretzmann 1962, 1984, 1986; Bott 1967) mainly to recognise subpopulations of this species that inhabit islands. This taxon was most recently revised as Potamon (Potamon) potamios by Brandis et al. (2000) and it is treated here as Potamon potamios.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-01-01
Assessor(s): Cumberlidge, N.
Reviewer(s): Cumberlidge, N. & McIvor, A.
Despite the wide distribution of this species (E00 940,000 kmĀ²) and the relatively high number of localities and records, some of its populations (especially those on islands) are discontinuous and highly fragmented, and the threat level is high, so there is cause for concern for the future of some of its isolated subpopulations. Although the wide distribution and high number of records for this species might imply that it should be assessed as Least Concern, the balance of evidence indicates that populations of this species may nevertheless be under immediate and long-term threat from rapid anthropogenic changes affecting its habitat such as water diversion, drainage, habitat disturbance, over-harvesting, and pollution. This species is therefore assessed here as Near Threatened (NT) because it is possible that populations of P. potamios in parts of its range might be in danger of extirpation in the future, especially those on islands in the eastern Aegean or near centres of human population on the mainland from southern Turkey to the Sinai peninsula in Egypt. Therefore it may be close to qualifying as Vulnerable under A2.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Potamon potamios has a wide but highly fragmented distribution and is found from Rhodes and Naxos in Greece, to southern Turkey and south throughout the Jordan and Litani River basins to the Sinai peninsula in Egypt. This species is found in the following countries that border the Mediterranean Sea: Greece (Crete and Karpathos plus Naxos in the Cyclades); Turkey (in the southern coastal provinces of Mugla, Burdur, Isparta, Antalya, Icel, Adana, and Hatay); in Cyprus; in Syria; in Jordan (in Irbid, Balqa, Asimah, Karak, and Maan Provinces); in Lebanon (in Jabal Lubnan and Al-Janub Provinces); in Israel (coastal region, upper Jordan Valley, lower Jordan Valley, Dead Sea region, southern Israel); in the Occupied Palestinian Territories; and in Egypt (Sinai peninsula).
Countries occurrence:
Cyprus; Egypt (Sinai); Greece (East Aegean Is., Kriti); Israel; Jordan; Lebanon; Palestinian Territory, Occupied; Syrian Arab Republic; Turkey (Turkey-in-Asia)
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):500
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:There is not much information on the population size and abundance of P. potamios in most parts of its range, but it would appear that populations of this species on the islands of Naxos and Cyprus are declining. On Naxos, crabs were present during surveys of the western, northern, and central mountain regions, and the river southwest of Apolon in 1983 (Pretzmann 1993) but later surveys in 1988 did not find any crabs in these localities, and the river near Apolon was completely dry. The only stable population of crabs found was at Engares in the eastern part of Naxos. In Cyprus, freshwater crabs are locally abundant in the numerous year-round small springs and seepages in the Akamas peninsula, and in the mountain streams of the Troodos mountains and Paphos Forest. However, freshwater crabs have disappeared from many parts of Cyprus probably as a result of the extensive use of DDT and other insecticides during the campaign against malaria. The use of less harmful insecticides in recent years has seen some recovery of certain populations of this species, but not all populations have recovered and some must be presumed extinct in some areas. Populations of P. potamios in Cyprus are now recovering from the use of DDT.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species has a very wide distributional range from the Mediterranean and Aegean islands of Greece to the semiarid inland regions in Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, and Egypt. Its habitat includes diverse environments including streams, rivers and lakes, and P. Potamios is semi-terrestrial in habit. In Israel P. potamios occurs near rivers and fish ponds in the coastal plain, and inland to the Sea of Galilee near rivers draining into the Dead Sea and south into Sinai, Egypt. Medium-sized crabs are nocturnal whereas the larger ones are diurnal and are active during daytime in the water and on the banks of the rivers.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): In Cyprus, P. potamios is threatened by deforestation, loss of water in its habitat, and pollution from pesticides. Protection from these threats may be provided to those populations of crabs that are found in the State Forests which are protected areas in the westernmost tip of the island of Cyprus that may become part of a National Park in the near future.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: No conservation measures are known to be in place for this species in most parts of its range.

Citation: Cumberlidge, N. 2008. Potamon potamios. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T135117A4061032. . Downloaded on 19 January 2018.
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