Common name: Southern White River Crayfish
Synonyms and Other Names: Procambarus zonangulus is a distinct species within the P. acutus species complex and was formerly grouped with P. acutus (Taylor and Schuster 2004).
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Identification: Body color is brown with a black wedge on dorsal abdomen (Walls 2009). Body color can vary; smaller individuals can be brown or tan with mottled spots (Huner 2002). Chelae possess numerous tubercles and small tubercles cover the carapace (Walls 2009). Procambarus zonangulus has long, narrow chelae with no space between dactyl and propodus when closed (Walls 2009). The areola of P. zonangulus is open, but narrow (Walls 2009). Often confused with P. clarkii, but there are distinct morphological differences, including a more open areola on P. zonangulus than on P. clarkii (Huner 2002). Without crayfish identification experience, P. acutus is indistinguishable from P. zonangulus (Swecker et al. 2010). Procambarus zonangulus has tapered gonopods, while P. acutus gonopods are a constant width (Walls 2009). In most P. zonangulus the ventral surface of the chelae is whitish, while they are a uniform color in P. acutus (Walls 2009).
Size: Can be up to 13 cm total length (Taylor and Schuster 2004).
Native Range: The native range of P. zonangulus is uncertain, but is probably the Gulf Coast Plains of Texas and Louisiana, extending into portions of southern Arkansas (Hobbs and Hobbs 1990; Walls 2009).
Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) Explained
Puerto Rico &
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps
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 Procambarus zonangulus are found here.
Table last updated 12/8/2023
† Populations may not be currently present.
Ecology: While Huner (2002) reports that P. zonangulus is only found in flowing river systems, this species has also been found in a variety of other habitats, including ponds, ditches, creeks, and swamps (Swecker et al. 2010).
Means of Introduction: Probable aquaculture escapes in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi, but likely from bait bucket introductions elsewhere (Huner 2002; Swecker et al. 2010).
Status: Established in Maryland and West Virginia (Loughman and Welsh 2010; Maryland Department of Natural Resources 2012). Procambarus zonangulus is likely established in Mississippi given its occurrence in multiple drainages. Status in Alabama and Louisiana is unknown, but given the proximity to the native range, these introductions are most likely established.
Impact of Introduction: The impacts of this species are currently unknown, as no studies have been done to determine how it has affected ecosystems in the invaded range. The absence of data does not equate to lack of effects. It does, however, mean that research is required to evaluate effects before conclusions can be made.
References: (click for full references)
Hobbs, H.H., Jr., and H.H. Hobbs III. 1990. A new crayfish (Decapoda: Cambaridae) from southeastern Texas. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 103(3):608-613.
Huner, J.V. 2002. Procambarus. Page 720 in Holdich, D.M, ed. Biology of Freshwater Crayfish. Wiley-Blackwell, Malden, MA.
Illinois Natural History Survey. 2017. Illinois Natural History Survey Collection Databases. Illinois Natural History Survey. https://biocoll.inhs.illinois.edu/portalx/collections/index.php. Accessed on 8/15/2017.
Loughman, Z. J., and S.A. Welsh. 2010. Distribution and conservation standing of West Virginia crayfishes. Southeastern Naturalist 9(3):63-78. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Zachary_Loughman/publication/232689227_Distribution_and_Conservation_Standing_of_West_Virginia_Crayfishes/links/02e7e52b1a3173c17f000000.pdf. Accessed on 9/29/2017.
Maryland Department of Natural Resources. 2012. Maryland crayfishes database. Accessed on 10/6/2017.
Swecker, C.D., T.D. Jones, J.V. Kilian, and L.F. Roberson. 2010. Key to the crayfish of Maryland. Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Annapolis, MD. http://dnr.maryland.gov/streams/Documents/KeytotheCrayfishesofMD_8_18_10.pdf. Accessed on 9/29/2017.
Taylor, C.A., and G.A. Schuster. 2004. The crayfishes of Kentucky. Illinois Natural History Survey, Champaign, IL.
Taylor, C.A., G.A. Schuster, J.E. Cooper, R.J. DiStefano, A.G. Eversole, P. Hamr, H.H. Hobbs III, H.W. Robison, C.E. Skelton, and R.F. Thoma. 2007. A reassessment of the conservation status of crayfishes of the United States and Canada after 10+ years of increased awareness. Fisheries 32(8):372-389. http://dx.doi.org/10.1577/1548-8446(2007)32[372:AROTCS]2.0.CO;2. Accessed on 9/29/2017.
Walls, J.G. 2009. Crawfishes of Louisiana. Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge, LA.
Virginia Fish and Wildlife Information Service. 2017. Occurrence chapter for Crayfish, southern White River (070166). Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. http://vafwis.org/fwis/booklet.html?Menu=_.Occurrence&bova=070166&version=17445. Accessed on 10/6/2017.
USDA Forest Service. 2015. Mississippi Crayfish Species. Mississippi Crayfish Species. https://www.srs.fs.usda.gov/crayfish/distmaps/CFDistMap98.pdf. Accessed on 10/11/2017.
Durland Donahou, A.
Revision Date: 1/29/2018
Durland Donahou, A., 2023, Procambarus zonangulus Hobbs and Hobbs III, 1990: U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=2897, Revision Date: 1/29/2018, Access Date: 12/9/2023
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.