Procambarus erythrops 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Arthropoda Malacostraca Decapoda Cambaridae

Scientific Name: Procambarus erythrops
Species Authority: Relyea & Sutton, 1975
Common Name(s):
English Santa Fe Cave Crayfish

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2010-06-01
Assessor(s): Crandall, K.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.
Procambarus erythrops has been assessed as Endangered under criterion B1ab(iii). This species has an estimated extent of occurrence of 227 km2, and is known form 5 locations. It is undergoing a continuing decline in the quality of its habitat as a result of pesticide and herbicide use in surrounding areas, mining pollution and groundwater abstraction. One of the sites at which this species is found is currently protected by The Nature Conservancy, but further site protection is required to prevent further declines of this species. Further research is also needed to determine the current population status of this species.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is only known from five localities, all situated north of the Santa Fe River, east of the Suwannee River, and west of Ichetucknee Springs, Suwannee County, Florida (Relyea and Sutton 1975). Several dozen sites have been examined north of the Sante Fe River, but no individuals of this species have been recorded (Franz and Lee 1982). This species has a distribution of approximately 277 km².
Countries occurrence:
United States (Florida)
Additional data:
Number of Locations:5
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Franz and Lee (1982) recorded 500 specimens of this species from the type locality.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:500
Population severely fragmented:Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species inhabits subterranean waters. It is inferred that the five caves in which this species is found, are linked by passages which allow some genetic flow to occur (Streever 1996). The type locality is a fully flooded cave with a water temeperature of 21oC and has a maximum depth of 12.5 m (Streever 1996).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is threatened by human disturbance (Streever 1996), groundwater abstraction, pollution from mining, and pesticide and herbicide use in surrounding areas (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission 2009). This mining activity is also known to destroy the cavern systems supporting this species (P Moler pers. comm. 2010). Furthermore, garbage dumping in the 1970s is thought to have caused the extirpation of this species from one site (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission 2009).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

Part of the range of this species is owned by The Nature Conservancy and managed specifically for this species. Furthermore, this species has been given a NatureServe Global Heritage Status Rank of G1, and was assigned an American Fisheries Society Status of 'endangered' based on its restricted range and ongoing habitat degradation (Taylor et al. 2007, NatureServe 2009). Further site protection measures are required to ensure further populations are not extirpated, and further research is needed to determine the population status of this species.

Classifications [top]

5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.18. Wetlands (inland) - Karst and Other Subterranean Hydrological Systems (inland)
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
3. Energy production & mining -> 3.2. Mining & quarrying
♦ timing:Ongoing    

7. Natural system modifications -> 7.2. Dams & water management/use -> 7.2.8. Abstraction of ground water (unknown use)
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Unknown ♦ severity:Unknown ⇒ Impact score:Unknown 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

9. Pollution -> 9.2. Industrial & military effluents -> 9.2.2. Seepage from mining
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Unknown ♦ severity:Unknown ⇒ Impact score:Unknown 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

9. Pollution -> 9.3. Agricultural & forestry effluents -> 9.3.3. Herbicides and pesticides
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Unknown ♦ severity:Unknown ⇒ Impact score:Unknown 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

9. Pollution -> 9.4. Garbage & solid waste
♦ timing:Ongoing    

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends

Bibliography [top]

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. 2009. Procambarus erythrops. Available at: (Accessed: 15th August).

Franz, R and Lee, D.S. 1982. Distribution and Evolution of Florida's Troglobitic Crayfishes. Bulletin of the Florida State Museum. Biological Sciences 28(1-4): 53-78.

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

NatureServe. 2009. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. Internet

Relyea, K. and Sutton, B. 1975. A New Troglobitic Crayfish of the Genus Procambarus from Florida (Decapoda, Astacidae). Tulane Studies in Zoology and Botany 19(1-2): 8-16.

Streever, W.J. 1996. Energy Economy Hypothesis and the Troglobitic Crayfish Procambarus erythrops in Sim's Sink Cave, Florida. American Midland Naturalist 135(2): 357-366.

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.

Citation: Crandall, K.A. 2010. Procambarus erythrops. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T18198A7778345. . Downloaded on 26 April 2017.
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