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Freshwater Crayfish 18(1): 27-36 (2011)


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Distribution of the Kentucky endemic crayfish species: Orconectes jeffersoni, with observations on its habitat associations

Couch ZL and Schuster GA  e-mail link

Published Online: 12/31/2011


Orconectes jeffersoni Rhoades is a poorly known member of the family Cambaridae. We conducted qualitative and quantitative surveys from 2007 – 2010 throughout Kentucky and southern Indiana, USA in order to better define the distribution of the species, characterize its habitat associations, and determine population densities in selected streams. We used a General Linear Model (GLM) Univariate Analysis of Variance to test if O. jeffersoni partitions macrohabitat (riffle, run and pool) by size (total carapace length). During qualitative sampling events, O. jeffersoni was found to be restricted to first- to-third order streams flowing through uplands experiencing varying degrees of urban influence in Bullitt, Hardin, Jefferson, and Oldham counties, Kentucky. Orconectes jeffersoni density was found to be 1.2 (± 1.8) individuals per 0.25 m2 over all quantitative sites. No significant difference in O. jeffersoni density was observed among macrohabitats (riffle, run and pool). There was a significant relationship between stream substrate size and O. jeffersoni density. Additionally, O. jeffersoni did not seem to partition macrohabitat based upon total carapace length. The results of this study indicate that O. jeffersoni is a habitat generalist restricted to a small geographic range. This study serves to assist natural resource professionals with the management and conservation of the Louisville crayfish by providing additional information on the species distribution and habitat associations as well as providing baseline quantitative data for comparison in future studies.

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How to Cite

Couch ZL and Schuster GA. (2011). Distribution of the Kentucky endemic crayfish species: Orconectes jeffersoni, with observations on its habitat associations. Freshwater Crayfish 18(1):27-36. doi: 10.5869/fc.2011.v18.27



Author Information

Zachary L. Couch,* Water Quality, Kentucky Division of Water, 200 Fair Oaks Ln., Frankfort, Kentucky, United States40601. E-mail:

Guenter A. Schuster, Department of Biological Sciences, Eastern Kentucky University, 235 Moore Building, Richmond, Kentucky, United States40475. E-mail: Guenter.Schuster@EKU.EDU

Corresponding Author indicated by an *.


Publication History

   Manuscript Submitted: 12/7/2010

   Manuscript Accepted: 8/2/2011

   Published Online: 12/31/2011

   Published in Print: 12/31/2011



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No specific funding statement is available for this article.






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