A Reassessment of the Crayfishes of Pennsylvania's Lake Erie Basin with an Emphasis on Zoogeography, Taxonomy, and Conservation.

Patrick Francis Allison Jr., Tanya Khan, David Lieb, Zachary Loughman

Abstract


An investigation is currently underway to reassess the crayfishes of the Lake Erie basin in northwestern Pennsylvania. A total of 54 stream sites were sampled, with a majority of the streams in the basin sampled at least once. Preliminary data have revealed that the most common crayfish species are Cambarus robustus (Big Water Crayfish), Faxonius propinquus (Northern Clearwater Crayfish), and Cambarus carinirostris (Rock Crayfish) respectively. Faxonius obscurus (Allegheny Crayfish) was discovered in one tributary to Elk Creek and a tributary to Lake Erie, not supporting prior belief that F. obscurus was forcing F. propinquus into smaller tributaries. Three additional species, Faxonius immunis (Calico Crayfish), Creaserinus fodiens (Digger Crayfish), and Cambarus spp. were collected via trapping. Procambarus acutus (White River Crayfish), an invasive crayfish species, was also collected via trapping. The presence of such a diverse crayfish fauna is likely due to the postglacial movement via stream and wetland migrations. The Lake Erie basin represents a range overlap for northern and southern crayfish species, and is a unique location within Pennsylvania’s watersheds.

Keywords


Freshwater; Crayfish; Biology; Zoogeography; Conservation; Taxonomy

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