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Orconectes virilis

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA ARTHROPODA MALACOSTRACA DECAPODA CAMBARIDAE

Scientific Name: Orconectes virilis
Species Authority: (Hagen, 1870)
Common Name/s:
English Virile Crayfish

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2010-06-01
Assessor/s: Adams, S., Schuster, G.A. & Taylor, C.A.
Reviewer/s: Collen, B. & Richman, N.
Contributor/s: Livingston, F., Livingston, F., Soulsby, A.-M., Batchelor, A., Dyer, E., Whitton, F., Milligan, H.T., Smith, J., Lutz, M.L., De Silva, R., McGuinness, S., Kasthala, G., Jopling, B., Sullivan, K. & Cryer, G.
Justification:
Orconectes virilis has been assessed as Least Concern (LC). This species has a wide distribution occurring naturally in Canada and many states in the USA, in addition to introduced populations as far as Europe. It is a habitat generalist, being found in both stream and lake habitats with a variety of substrates utilized. Threats are mainly from water pollution and the introduced Rusty Crayfish (Orconectes rusticus) which is causing localized reductions in fecundity and displacement. It is harvested commercially from the wild, but it is unclear at what tonnage this is harvested. However, due to this species' wide distribution and disperesed localized threats, it has many stable subpopulations persisting.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is found widely in Canada. It is found from Alberta to Quebec (Taylor et al. 2005). It is also widespread in North America, where it occurs from New York in the north to Texas in the south (Taylor et al. 2005).  Its most western reach is Utah (Taylor et al. 2005). 
This species has also been introduced to other areas in the US including, but also Mexico and Europe (Taylor et al. 2005).The native Extent of Occurrence (EOO) of this species has been estimated to exceed 11 million km2, not including the wide ranging introduced regions. 

 

Countries:
Native:
Canada (Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Québec, Saskatchewan); United States (Alabama - Introduced, Arkansas - Introduced, California - Introduced, Colorado, Connecticut - Introduced, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine - Introduced, Maryland - Introduced, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire - Introduced, New Jersey - Introduced, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania - Introduced, Rhode Island - Introduced, Tennessee - Introduced, Utah - Introduced, Vermont - Present - Origin Uncertain, Virginia - Introduced, West Virginia - Introduced, Wisconsin, Wyoming)
Introduced:
France (France (mainland)); Mexico; Sweden
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is widespread and abundant (Fetzner 2008, Pflieger 1996, Thoma and Jezerinac 2000, Aiken 1965).
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This is a generalist species, found in a wide variety of freshwater habitats, primarily streams and lakes, but not in swift flows or rapids (Fetzner 2008, Pflieger 1996, Thoma and Jezerinac 2000, Aiken 1965). 
It is commonly found on rocky substrates, however in slower rivers it is found on a variety of material such as: mud, silt, and sand (Taylor et al. 2005). Sometimes it constructs burrows in river banks, which have been found to occur at up to 10 m deep (Taylor et al. 2005).
Systems: Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are localised threats from competition and pollution in some Canadian watersheds (Taylor et al. 2005). In Ontario it has to compete with Orconectes rusticus, an introduced species (Taylor et al. 2005). Other declines have been attributed to air and water pollution associated with run-off from surrounding watersheds. 
Reduced fecundity has been attributed to acidification of water bodies(Taylor et al. 2005)


Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species has been given the heritage rank of G5, apparently secure, by NatureServe (Taylor et al. 2007, NatureServe 2009) and Currently Stable by the American Fisheries Society (Taylor et al. 2007).
Citation: Adams, S., Schuster, G.A. & Taylor, C.A. 2010. Orconectes virilis. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 21 April 2014.
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