Fallicambarus fodiens (Cottle)


Map [dots indicate Ouachita National Forest collection sites]

Recognition Characters: A heavy-bodied, reddish-tan crayfish with a pale, iridescent stripe running along the midline of the abdomen and short, broad chelae. Rostrum broad, with a central troughlike depression. Acumen very short and without lateral spines or tubercles. Chela with lateral margin costate to rounded, never serrate, dorsal surface without scattered tubercles in lateral half. Ventrolateral surface lacking arched row of prominent setiferous punctations. Opposable margin of dactyl with distinct excision in the basal half. Mesial margin with longitudinal row of tubercles extending along at least basal third of finger. Mesial surface of chela of second pereiopod with conspicuous tufts of plumose setae. First pleopod has two terminal processes that are at right angles to the main pleopod axis, and the primary process is strongly curved and bladelike. First pleopod without proximomesial spur and lacking cephalic process. Central projection comparatively weakly arched, base not inclined laterally, distal part directed caudally, with or without subapical notch, but never crossing central projection of corresponding pleopod. Hooks on ischia of third pereiopods only. Boss of coxa of fourth pereiopod somewhat rounded, neither strongly compressed nor conspicuously protruding ventrally. Medial ramus of uropod with distolateral spine; distomedian spine premarginal.

Coloration: This crayfish is nearly uniform reddish-brown to olive brown with a pale, iridescent stripe extending lengthwise along the midline of the abdomen. The abdominal stripe is bordered on each side by a less conspicuous blackish stripe. Having provided this general color description, it is important that the collector remember that two color forms and three color patterns may exist within the same population (See Comments section).

Size: Adults 1.8 to 3.5 inches (45-49 mm) (Pflieger, 1996).

Habitat: This lowland crayfish species is an inhabitant of temporary bodies of water and burrows, although it occasionally ventures into more permanent lentic and lotic habitats (Hobbs and Robison, 1989).

General Range: This species is quite wide-ranging occurring from Texas to northern Michigan and southern Canada and eastward from Texas to Virginia and Maryland (Hobbs and Robison, 1989).

Comments: This primary burrower was collected four times only in Oklahoma in the Tiak District of the ONF during the study. In a detailed study of the Fallicambarus crayfishes of Arkansas, Hobbs and Robison (1989) synonomized F. hedgpethi with F. fodiens, thus all previous Oklahoma records of F. hedgpethi should be referred to Fallicambarus fodiens. This lowland crayfish can exist in two basic colors and three color patterns. The three color patterns of this species may be present (concolorous, speckled, and striped) within the same population, complicating the taxonomic identification of a specimen found in the field.