Wednesday, August 23, 2017

[Crustacea • 2017] A Case of Appalachian Endemism: Revision of the Cambarus robustus complex (Decapoda: Cambaridae) in the Kentucky and Licking River Basins of Kentucky, USA, with the Description of Three New Species

Cambarus (Puncticambarusguenteri
 Loughman, Henkanaththegedara, Fetzner & Thoma, 2017


The amazing levels of freshwater biodiversity found in the Appalachian Mountains of the eastern United States are among the highest recorded globally. Localized endemics make up much of this diversity, with numerous fish, freshwater mussels, salamanders and crayfish often being restricted to a single watershed, and in some instances, subwatersheds. Much of this diversity is the product of the processes of vicariance and historical stream drainage patterns. Herein, we describe three new crayfish species, all previously members of the Cambarus robustus complex, which occur in the Appalachian portion of the Kentucky and Licking river basins in Kentucky, USA. All three species differ from each other morphologically, genetically, and zoogeographically, fulfilling the requirements of the integrated species concept. Cambarus guenteri occurs in the southern tributaries of the Kentucky River mainstem as well as throughout the South Fork Kentucky River. Cambarus taylori is a narrow endemic, which only occurs in the Middle Fork Kentucky River. Cambarus hazardi, which has the widest distribution of the three new species, occurs in the North Fork Kentucky River, Red River, and upper reaches of the Licking River basin. Stream piracy events between the Cumberland and South Fork Kentucky River, as well as the Licking, Red and North Fork Kentucky rivers, are theorized to be important in the evolution of this complex. Cambarus guenteri is proposed as currently stable, though both C. taylori and C. hazardi are considered imperiled at this time due to habitat destruction throughout both of their respective ranges.

Keywords: Cambarus, endemicity, Kentucky, new species, systematics, taxonomy, Crustacea

Cambarus (Puncticambarusguenteri, new species

Etymology. It is with great pleasure that we name this species in honor of Dr. Guenter A. SchusterProfessor Emeritus, Eastern Kentucky University. Dr. Schuster dedicated his professional career to teaching undergraduates, graduate students and professional biologists about the diversity, biology, and conservation of freshwater invertebrates, with a particular influence on biologists from the bluegrass state, and he is a coauthor of the definitive work on the crayfishes of Kentucky. He instilled in those he educated a sense of wonder and appreciation for these organisms, which has undoubtedly led to the conservation of more than one freshwater mussel or crayfish. The common name for C. guenteri is the Redbird Crayfish in reference to the Redbird River drainage where large populations of C. guenteri occur.

Common name. Redbird Crayfish.

Cambarus (Puncticambarushazardi, new species

Etymology. Cambarus hazardi is named after Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, noted American Naval Commander, and the name sake of Perry County Kentucky and the County Seat, Hazard Kentucky. The common name Brawny Crayfish is in reference to the powerfully built stature of C. hazardi.

Common name. Brawny Crayfish

Cambarus (Puncticambarustaylorinew species

Etymology. It is our honor and privilege to name this crayfish after Dr. Christopher A. Taylor from the Illinois Natural History Survey. Dr. Taylor has been one of the most active crayfish researchers in the United States for the past two decades and a leader in crayfish conservation, co-authored the seminal work on Kentucky’s crayfishes, Crayfishes of Kentucky, and has been instrumental in bringing the conservation concerns of North America’s crayfishes to light with his many publications. The common name Cutshin Crayfish is in reference to Cutshin Creek watershed, which harbors the species.

Common name. Cutshin Crayfish

Zachary J. Loughman, Sujan M. Henkanaththegedara, James W. Fetzner, Jr. and Roger F. Thoma. 2017. A Case of Appalachian Endemism: Revision of the Cambarus robustus complex (Decapoda: Cambaridae) in the Kentucky and Licking River Basins of Kentucky, USA, with the Description of Three New Species.  Zootaxa. 4269(4); 460-494.  DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4269.4.4

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