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Potamonautes sidneyi

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA ARTHROPODA MALACOSTRACA DECAPODA POTAMONAUTIDAE

Scientific Name: Potamonautes sidneyi
Species Authority: (Rathbun, 1904)
Common Name(s):
English Natal River Crab, Sidney's River Crab
Taxonomic Notes: This species was treated by Bott (1955) as Potamonautes (Potamonautes) sidneyi. Cumberlidge (1998) and Gouws and Stewart (2001) referred to this species as Potamonautes sidneyi and the latter workers described its distribution and habitat.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-01-01
Assessor(s): Cumberlidge, N.
Reviewer(s): Daniels, S.R. (University of Stellenbosch), Darwall, W. (Freshwater Biodiversity Assessment Unit) and McIvor, A.
Justification:
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution (more than 50 locations), tolerance of a degree of habitat modification, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category. Estimates of a stable population size and abundance of P. sidneyi are based on recent collections from new localities made in the past five years coupled with a strong representation in museum collections dating back over 150 years. Despite this there is no direct information on the number of mature individuals, or on population fluctuations. Similarly, there is little information on trends in habitat quality.
History:
2007 Least Concern

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: South Africa, Swaziland, and Mozambique. In South Africa this species is found in Northern Cape, Mpumalanga, North-West, Gauteng, Free State, Eastern Cape, and KwaZulu-Natal Provinces. In KwaZulu-Natal, P. sidneyi is found throughout the low lying midlands region from the foothills of the Drakensbergs to the coast, and from Lake Sibayi in the north to Port Shepstone in the south.
Countries:
Native:
Mozambique; South Africa (Eastern Cape Province, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape Province, North-West Province); Swaziland
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This is a widespread and abundant species found in aquatic habitats of a number of major river systems and has an estimated extent of occurrence of at least 180,000 km².
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This large-bodied species is found in major rivers, small pristine mountain streams, and reservoirs behind dams, lakes, and swamps. Potamonautes sidneyi commonly shelters in burrows dug into the side of muddy river banks or under large boulders in rivers with boulder-strewn or sediment bottoms, leaving its shelter to feed, usually at night. This species is tolerant of moderate to high levels of organic pollution. In KwaZulu-Natal this species is typically found in the slower-flowing middle and lower reaches of rivers, and has not been recorded from the upper reaches and faster flowing tributaries of the Mzimkulu, Mzimvubu, and Mkomasi Rivers. However, there are reports of P. sidneyi from the faster-flowing streams and upper tributaries of the Tugela River and Mgeni River draining the Drackensbergs and its foothills where this species has been collected sympatrically with P. clarus and P. depressus. The presence of P. sidneyi in the upper drainages may have been assisted by impoundments such as the Woodstock, Kilburn, Driel, and Spionkop Dams in the Tugela River system and the Albert Falls Dam and Midmar Dam in the Mgeni River system (Gouws and Stewart. 2001).
Systems: Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The major present and future threats to this species include habitat loss/degradation (human induced) due to human population increases in most parts of its range.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: No conservation measures are known to be in place for this species and it is not found in a protected area.

Citation: Cumberlidge, N. 2008. Potamonautes sidneyi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 02 October 2014.
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