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Freshwater Crayfish 25(1): 47-57 (2020)

PEER REVIEWED    RESEARCH ARTICLE

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Preliminary investigation of the critically imperiled Caney Mountain cave crayfish Orconectes stygocaneyi Hobbs III, 2001 (Decapoda: Cambaridae) in Missouri, USA

DiStefano RJ, Ashley D, Brewer SK, Mouser JB and Neimiller M  e-mail link

Published Online: 4/17/2020

Abstract

The Caney Mountain cave crayfish (Orconectes stygocaneyi) is one of North America's rarest crayfish, endemic to one cave in southern Missouri, USA. The species is listed as 'critically imperiled' by Missouri, and 'threatened' by the American Fisheries Society. Previously, only 15 crayfish have been observed in Mud Cave, and only two have been collected (for original species description). We aimed to collect the first natural history data on the species and search adjacent caves and springs for additional populations. Twelve visual searches and supplemental trapping over four years, in all seasons, yielded 69 O. stygocaneyi (including 11 young-of-year) observations and capture of 22 crayfish, including one ovigerous female. Visual searches of nearby caves and springs yielded no O. stygocaneyi records. However, multiple surveys of those caves and springs, using environmental DNA detected the species in one additional cave adjacent to Mud Cave, but only during spring high flow events when the caves may be ephemerally connected. Orconectes stygocaneyi's distribution is among the most restricted of any North American crayfish, and further evaluation of its conservation status designations might be warranted. Long term conservation of O. stygocaneyi would benefit from management practices promoting sustained, unimpacted surface runoff within Mud Cave's recharge area.

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DiStefano RJ, Ashley D, Brewer SK, Mouser JB and Neimiller M. (2020). Preliminary investigation of the critically imperiled Caney Mountain cave crayfish Orconectes stygocaneyi Hobbs III, 2001 (Decapoda: Cambaridae) in Missouri, USA. Freshwater Crayfish 25(1):47-57. doi: 10.5869/fc.2020.v25-1.047

 

 

Author Information

Robert J. DiStefano,* Resource Science Division, Missouri Department of Conservation, Resource Science Center, 3500 East Gans Road,Columbia, Missouri, USA65201. E-mail: Bob.DiStefano@mdc.mo.gov

David  Ashley, Biology Department, Missouri Western University, 237 Agenstein Hall, St. Joseph, Missouri, USA64507. E-mail: ashley@missouriwestern.edu

Shannon K. Brewer, Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, , Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA74078. E-mail: shannon.brewer@okstate.edu

Joshua B. Mouser, Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, , Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA74078. E-mail: jbmouse@okstate.edu

Matt  Niemiller, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alabama - Huntsville, Shelby Center for Science and Technology, Huntsville, Alabama, USA35899. E-mail: cavemander17@gmail.com

Corresponding Author indicated by an *.

 

Publication History

   Manuscript Submitted: 12/18/2019

   Manuscript Accepted: 4/16/2020

   Published Online: 4/17/2020

   Published in Print: 4/30/2020

 

 

Funding Information

No specific funding statement is available for this article.

 

 



 

 

 

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