Cambarus bartonii 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Arthropoda Malacostraca Decapoda Cambaridae

Scientific Name: Cambarus bartonii (Fabricius, 1798)
Common Name(s):
English Appalachian Brook Crayfish, Common Crayfish
Taxonomic Notes: Two subspecies of this species are recognised, Cambarus bartonii bartonii Fabricius 1798 (Common Crayfish) and C. b. cavatus Hay 1902 (Appalachian Brook Crayfish).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2010-06-01
Assessor(s): Cordeiro, J., Hamr, P., Skelton, C. & Thoma, R.F.
Reviewer(s): Collen, B. & Richman, N.
Contributor(s): 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.
Cambarus bartonii has been assessed as Least Concern. This species has a wide distribution along the east coast of North America and is known to be abundant throughout of its range. There are no known major threats to the population, although localised declines are occurring due to competitive exclusion from Cambarus robustus, and habitat loss and degradation.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is found along the eastern part of North America from the New River north and the Mississippi and Atlantic basins from the New River south following the strike of the Appalachians (R. Thoma pers. comm. 2010). It is found from New Brunswick, Quebec, and Ontario in Canada, south to Georgia, South Carolina, and Alabama in the USA along the Atlantic coast (Hobbs 1989, Taylor et al. 2005). It has an estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) exceeding 1,000,000 km2.
Countries occurrence:
Canada (New Brunswick, Ontario, Qu├ębec); United States (Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia)
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is abundant and common in parts of its range (Jezerinac 1991, Taylor et al. 2005).
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is usually found in fast flowing, rocky areas (Taylor et al. 2007), but is occasionally seen in ponds (Hobbs 1989) and lakes (Jezerinac 1985). Taylor et al. (2005) noted that it is found in the high elevation lakes in the Canadian Shield, where pH values can be as low as 5.0. Its burrows are often found in gravel and sand under larger rocks (Mar 1983) and along streams (Williams and Bivens 1996). Burrows have been known to be as deep as 1 m (Taylor et al. 2005). Spring to autumn delineates the period of reproduction with the offspring hatching in July and August (Taylor et al. 2005). The species has a life span of three to four years (Hamr and Berrill 1985). The carapace length ranges between 25 mm and 30 mm (Hamr and Berrill 1985).
Generation Length (years):1

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

This species faces few threats, although localised disturbance may exist. The introduced Rusty Crayfish (Oroconectes rusticus) might be able to compete with this species (Taylor et al. 2005). Furthermore, the closely related Cambarus robustus has been found to competitively exclude this species from some of its range in Ontario (Guiasu et al. 1996). Localised declines can also be attributed to general habitat degradation and loss. 

At a greater scale, one significant pressure is the acidification of streams that it lives in; although it has developed a tolerance to low pH levels it has been noted that juvenile and moulting crayfishes are at risk from the changing pH levels (Taylor et al. 2005).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no species-specific conservation measure in place for this species. Taylor et al. (2007) ranked it as Currently Stable. It has a NatureServe G-rank of G5 (Least Concern) (Taylor et al. 2007, NatureServe 2008).

Classifications [top]

5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.1. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls)
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.5. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha)
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.7. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha)

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
8. Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases -> 8.1. Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases -> 8.1.2. Named species [ Orconectes rusticus ]
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Unknown ♦ severity:Unknown ⇒ Impact score:Unknown 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.3. Indirect species effects -> 2.3.2. Competition

8. Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases -> 8.2. Problematic native species/diseases -> 8.2.2. Named species [ Cambarus robustus ]
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Unknown ♦ severity:Unknown ⇒ Impact score:Unknown 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.3. Indirect species effects -> 2.3.2. Competition

9. Pollution -> 9.2. Industrial & military effluents -> 9.2.3. Type Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Unknown ♦ severity:Unknown ⇒ Impact score:Unknown 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

Bibliography [top]

Bouchard, R.W. 1974. Geography and ecology of crayfishes of the Cumberland plateau and Cumberland mountains, Kentucky, Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama. Part I. The genera Procambarus and Orconectes. Freshwater Crayfish 2: International Symposium on Freshwater Crayfish, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

DiStefano, R.J., Neves, R.J., Helfrich, L.A. and Lewis, M.C. 1991. Response of the crayfish Cambarus bartonii bartonii to acid exposure in southern Appalachian streams. Canadian journal of zoology 69: 1585-1591.

Fetzner, J.W. 2008. Crayfish Taxonomy Browser. Available at: (Accessed: June).

Gallaway, M.S. and Hummon, W.D. 1991. Adaptation of Cambarus bartonii cavatus (Hay) (Decapoda: Cambaridae) to acid mine-polluted waters. Ohio journal of science 91(4): 167-171.

Guiasu, R.C. and Dunham, D.W. 1999. Aggressive interactions between the crayfishes Cambarus bartonii bartonii and C. robustus (Decapoda: Cambaridae): interspecific and intraspecific contests. Journal of crustacean biology 19(1): 131-146.

Guiasu, R.C., D.W. Dunha, and D.W. Barr. 1996a. Interspecific agonistic contests between male Cambarus bartonii bartonii (Fabricius 1798) and Cambarus robustus Girard 1852 (Decapoda,Cambaridae) crayfish and the possible competition between the two species in Ontario. Freshwater crayfish 11(364-377).

Hamr, P. 1983. The life histories of crayfishes Cambarus robustus (Girard) and Cambarus bartoni (Fab.). Departments of Biology and Geography, Trent University.

Hamr, P. and Berrill, M. 1985. The life histories of north-temperate populations of the crayfish Cambarus robustus and Cambarus bartoni. Canadian journal of zoology 63: 2313-2322.

Hobbs, H.H. Jr. 1989. An illustrated checklist of the American crayfishes (Decapoda: Astacidae, Cambaridae, and Parastacidae). Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology no. 480.

IUCN. 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2010.3). Available at: (Accessed: 2 September 2010).

Jezerinac, R.F. 1985. Morphological variations of Cambarus (Cambarus) bartonii cavatus (Decapoda: Cambaridae) from Ohio, with a diagnosis of the Ohio Form. Ohio journal of science 83(3): 131-134.

Jezerinac, R.F. 1991. The distribution of crayfishes (Decapoda: Cambaridae) of the Licking River watershed, eastcentral Ohio: 1972-1977. Ohio journal of science 91(3): 108-111.

NatureServe. 2008. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.0. NatureServe. Arlington Available at: (Accessed: December).

Schofield, K.A., Pringle, CM.M., Meyer, J.L. and Sutherland, A.B. 2001. The importance of crayfish in the breakdown of rhododendron leaf litter. Freshwater biology 46: 1191-1204.

Taylor, C.A., Schuster, G.A., Cooper, J.E., DiStefano, R.J., Eversole, A.G., Hobbs III, H.H., Robison, H.W., Skelton, C.W. and Thoma, R.F. 2007. A Reassessment of the Conservation Status of Crayfishes of the United States and Canada after 10+ Years of Increased Awareness. Fisheries, American Fisheries Society 32(8): 372-389.

Taylor, R.M., Hamr, P. and Karstaad, A. 2005. Illustrated guide to the crayfishes of Ontario. In: G. Winterton (ed.), The Comprehensive Bait Guide for Eastern Canada, the Great Lakes Region and Northeastern United States, pp. 223-255. University of Toronto Press.

Williams, C.E. and Bivens, R.D. 1996. An annotated list of crayfishes (Decapoda: Cambaridae) of Tennessee. Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Talbot.

Citation: Cordeiro, J., Hamr, P., Skelton, C. & Thoma, R.F. 2010. Cambarus bartonii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T153748A4540162. . Downloaded on 20 September 2018.
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