Wednesday, November 30, 2016

[Crustacea • 2016] Cambarus (Depressicambarus) clairitae • A New Species of Crayfish (Decapoda: Cambaridae) from Alabama with A Review of the halli Group in the Subgenus Depressicambarus

Cambarus (Depressicambarusclairitae 
Schuster & Taylor, 2016


Cambarus (Depressicambarusclairitae, new species, is an epigean crayfish from two drainages of the Locust Fork system in Blount and Jefferson counties, Alabama. It belongs to the halli Group in the subgenus Depressicambarus. The new species is morphologically most similar to Cambarus (Depressicambarus) englishi. They differ in a several morphological characters. Cambarus englishi has a more strongly recurved central projection, a wider areola, and a more distinct and set off rostral acumen than the new species. It also has light gray to white antennae while the antennae of the new species are brown. In addition to the description of the new species, the halli Group in Alabama is discussed.

Keywords: Crustacea, CambarusDepressicambarusclairitaehalli Group, latimanus Group, new species, crayfish, Alabama

The zebra crayfish, Cambarus (Depressicambarusclairitae, a new species discovered in Alabama tributaries of the Locust Fork. (photo: Guenter Schuster) 

FIGURE 1. Cambarus (Depressicambarus) clairitae n. sp.: Holotype, Jefferson County, AL, dorsal view. 

Etymology. Named in honor of our wives Claire Schuster and Rita Taylor, who have supported us faithfully since the beginning. They have endured weeks alone at home while we were in the field or in some museum chasing crayfishes. Without their continued support we would not have been able to follow our research paths. We are forever grateful to them. This honor is a small token of that appreciation.

Common name. The suggested common or vernacular name for this species is the Zebra Crayfish because of its very distinct and contrasting light and dark coloration. This is especially evident on the dorsum of the abdomen where it resembles the stripes of a zebra.

A new species of crayfish, Cambarus clairitae, belonging to the halli Group of the subgenus Depressicambarus in the genus Cambarus is described. It is most closely related to Cambarus englishi, and can be separated from it by the curvature of the central projection of the gonopod of the MI, by the shape the acumen and rostrum, by the width of the areola and by the color of the antennae and body. The two species are allopatric. Cambarus clairitae has only been found from two streams within the Locust Fork drainage. It was not common in either stream at any location, and should be considered for conservation status.

Schuster, Guenter A. & Christopher A. Taylor. 2016. Cambarus (Depressicambarusclairitae, A New Species of Crayfish (Decapoda: Cambaridae) from Alabama with A Review of the halli Group in the Subgenus DepressicambarusZootaxa. 4193(2): 332–346.  DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4193.2.8

Meet the zebra crayfish, a new species discovered in Alabama

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