Common name: Creole painted crayfish
Synonyms and Other Names: Orconectes palmeri creolanus (Creaser, 1933). Faxonius palmeri creolanus underwent a reclassification in August 2017, changing the genus of non-cave dwelling Orconectes to Faxonius (Crandall and De Grave 2017).
available through www.itis.gov
Identification: Walls (2009) describes Orconectes palmeri creolanus as a robust and rather depressed crayfish. The crayfish's color is often tan with heavy mottled coloration of dark brown to blackish blue. The posterior edges of the abdominal segments are red. The form I male is distinguishable from the other subspecies as it is generally thicker over entire body length compared to the other more slender subspecies. O. p. creolanus also has a relatively short gonopod that is not strongly curved caudally.
Size: 3-4 inches in length (Walls 2009)
Native Range: The subspecies is native throughout the Florida Parishes of Louisiana north of Lake Pontchartrain and east of the Mississippi River. The species is found throughout the Pearl and Pascagoula Rivers, in Mississippi (Penn 1957; Hobbs 1974; Walls 2009).
Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) Explained
Puerto Rico &
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps
O. p. creolanus was first collected from the Flint River in Newton, Georgia in 1999. At a subsequent sampling in 2004, both sexes and all year classes were found (Skelton 2010). The subspecies appears to be expanding its range in Georgia through the lower Flint River basin (Skelton 2010), and now inhabits around 120 river kilometers of the Flint River from just north of Bainbridge to about 12 kilometers north of Albany (Sargent et al. 2011).
Table 1. States with nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Faxonius palmeri creolanus are found here.
Table last updated 8/18/2022
† Populations may not be currently present.
Ecology: This subspecies can be found in a wide range of freshwater habitats including rapid and sluggish moving streams (Crandall et al. 2001). Members of this genus are typically burrowers and can be found in a wide range of surface and sub-surface habitats (Hobbs and Lodge 2010).
Means of Introduction: Most likely from bait buckets or aquarium dumps (Walls 2009). Walls (2009) also suggest that O. p. creolanus has been introduced with hatchery and pond raised fingerling fishes.
Impact of Introduction: This subspecies may be displacing the Georgia native Procambarus spiculifer in the upper Flint River (Sargent et al. 2011). It may alos threaten another Flint River tributary endemic, Procambarus gibbus found in Muckalee Creek. If O. p. creolanus are able to spread into Muckalee Creek, the continued existence of P. gibbus will be uncertain (Sargent et al. 2011).
References: (click for full references)
Crandall, K.A. and S. De Grave. 2017. An updated classification of the freshwater crayfishes (Decapoda: Astacidea) of the world, with a complete species list. Journal of Crustacean Biology 37(5):615-653. https://doi.org/10.1093/jcbiol/rux070.
Crandall, K. A., J. W. Fetzner, Jr., and H. H. Hobbs III. 2001. Orconectes (Buannulifictus) palmeri creolanus Creaser 1933. Version 01 January 2001 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Orconectes_%28Buannulifictus%29_palmeri_creolanus/7159/2001.01.01 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/
Hobbs, H.H., Jr. 1974. A checklist of the North American and middle American crayfishes (Decapoda: Astacidae and Cambari dae). Smithsonian Contrib. to Zool. 166:1-161.
Hobb III, H. H. and D. M. Lodge. 2010. Decapoda. Pages 901-967 in Thorp, J.H. and A.P. Covich (eds). Ecology and Classification of North American Freshwater Invertebrates. Third Edition. Academic Press, New York, New York.
Penn, G. H., Jr. 1957. Variation and subspecies of the crawfish Orconectes palmeri. Tulane Studies in Zoology, 5(10): 231-262, figures 1-30.
Sargent, L.W., S.W. Golladay, A.P. Covich, and S.P. Opsahl. 2011. Physicochemical habitat association of a native and a non-native crayfish in the lower Flint River, Georgia: implications for invasion success. Biological Invasions 13 499-511
Skelton, C. E. 2010. History, status, and conservation of Georgia crayfishes. Southeastern Naturalist 9(3):127-138.
Walls, J.G. 2009. Crawfishes of Louisiana. Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge, LA
Daniel, W.M., and Benson, A.J.
Revision Date: 5/2/2018
Daniel, W.M., and Benson, A.J., 2022, Faxonius palmeri creolanus (Creaser, 1933): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=2348, Revision Date: 5/2/2018, Access Date: 8/18/2022
This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.