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Lagniappe Crayfish (14174285151).jpg
Procambarus lagniappe
Scientific classification

Ortmann, 1905 [1]
Type species
Procambarus digueti
Bouvier, 1897

Procambarus is a genus of crayfish in the family Cambaridae, all native to North and Central America. It includes a number of troglobitic species, and the marbled crayfish (marmorkrebs), which is parthenogenetic. Originally described as a subgenus for four species, it now contains 161 species in 16 subgenera.


The well-known and widespread Procambarus clarkii
The bright blue aquarium strain of Procambarus alleni

The majority of the diversity is found in the southeastern United States, but the genus extends as far south as Guatemala and Honduras, and on the Caribbean island of Cuba.[2][3] After United States, the highest diversity is in Mexico with about 45 species. Only two are native to Guatemala (P. pilosimanus and P. williamsoni), one to Belize (P. pilosimanus), one to Honduras (P. williamsoni) and three to Cuba (P. atkinsoni, P. cubensis and P. niveus).[3]

Subgenus Ortmannicus is the most widespread, with the range of Procambarus acutus extending as far north as the Great Lakes and New England, as well as south into northeastern Mexico; the subgenus Girardella also extends from the Great Lakes to Mexico, but is distributed further west than Ortmannicus.[4] Scapulicambarus and Pennides are widespread in the southeastern United States, where Remoticambarus also lives, further west (Texas and Louisiana) than Leconticambarus which is centered on Florida and neighboring states. The subgenus Austrocambarus has the most southerly distribution, being found in Cuba and parts of Central America from Mexico to Belize, Guatemala and Honduras. The other subgenera are more restricted in their distributions, including three endemic to central Mexico, and six endemic to small areas in the United States.[2][3][4]

A few species of Procambarus have been introduced to regions outside their native range, both in North America and other continents. They are frequently categorized as invasive species, representing a threat to natives, including rarer crayfish species.[3][5][6]


Procambarus can be distinguished from other genera of crayfish by the form of the first pleopod in males, which typically has three or more processes at the tip, compared to two or fewer in Orconectes and Cambarus.[7]


Procambarus vazquezae is found only in Laguna Catemaco in Mexico

Most Procambarus species live in various above-ground waters such as rivers, streams, lakes, ponds and swamps, but several are troglobitic, living in caves, particularly in karstic areas. In the United States, these include both species in subgenus Lonnbergius (P. acherontis and P. morrisi) and the single species in the subgenus Remoticambarus, P. pecki.[8] Other cave-dwellers in the United States with various levels of troglomorphic adaptions are P. attiguus, P. erythrops, P. franzi, P. leitheuseri, P. lucifugus, P. milleri and P. orcinus, but these are all members of subgenera that also include species from above-ground waters. In Cuba, P. niveus is a cave-dweller. In Mexico, many species have been recorded in caves, but most of these have also been recorded from above-ground waters; only P. cavernicola, P. oaxacae, P. rodriguezi and P. xilitlae are strict cave-dwellers and troglomorphic.[9]


The marbled crayfish (marmorkrebs) is parthenogenetic and its taxonomy is disputed

Procambarus was originally described by Arnold Edward Ortmann in 1905 as a subgenus of a wider genus Cambarus, and originally contained only four species (P. williamsoni, P. diguieti, P. mexicanus and P. cubensis).[10] The subgenus was elevated in 1942 to the taxonomic rank of genus by Horton H. Hobbs, Jr., who later erected most of the subgenera now recognised within the genus, in his 1972 monograph The subgenera of the crayfish genus Procambarus (Decapoda: Astacidae).[4]

Subgenera and species[edit]

Acucauda Hobbs, 1972
Austrocambarus Hobbs, 1972
Capillicambarus Hobbs, 1972
Girardiella Lyle, 1938
Hagenides Hobbs, 1972
Leconticambarus Hobbs, 1972
Lonnbergius Hobbs, 1972
Mexicambarus Hobbs, 1972
Ortmannicus Fowler, 1912
Paracambarus Ortmann, 1906
Pennides Hobbs, 1972
Procambarus Ortmann, 1905
Remoticambarus Hobbs, 1972
Scapulicambarus Hobbs, 1972
Tenuicambarus Hobbs, 1972
Villalobosus Hobbs, 1972


  1. ^ "Procambarus Ortmann, 1905". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved June 14, 2011.
  2. ^ a b Horton H. Hobbs, Jr. (1984). "On the distribution of the crayfish genus Procambarus (Decapoda: Cambaridae)". Journal of Crustacean Biology. 4 (1): 12–24. doi:10.2307/1547892. JSTOR 1547892.
  3. ^ a b c d Alvarez. F.; J.L. Villalobos (2015). "The Crayfish of Middle America". In T. Kawai; Z. Faulkes; G. Scholtz (eds.). Freshwater Crayfish: A Global Overview. CRC Press. pp. 448–463. ISBN 9781466586390.
  4. ^ a b c Horton H. Hobbs, Jr. (1972). "The subgenera of the crayfish genus Procambarus (Decapoda: Astacidae)" (PDF). Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology. 117: 1–22.
  5. ^ D. M. Holdich; J. D. Reynolds; C. Souty-Grosset; P. J. Sibley (2009). "A review of the ever increasing threat to European crayfish from non-indigenous crayfish species". Knowledge and Management of Aquatic Ecosystems. 394–395 (394–395): 11. doi:10.1051/kmae/2009025.
  6. ^ J. P. G. Jones; J. R. Rasamy; A. Harvey; A. Toon; B. Oidtmann; M. H. Randrianarison; N. Raminosoa; O. R. Ravoahangimalala (2009). "The perfect invader: A parthenogenic crayfish poses a new threat to Madagascar's freshwater biodiversity". Biological Invasions. 11 (1): 1475–1482. doi:10.1007/s10530-008-9334-y.
  7. ^ Richard Fox (June 27, 2006). "Procambarus". Invertebrate Anatomy OnLine. Lander University.
  8. ^ James W. Fetzner, Jr. (January 11, 2006). "Troglobitic crayfishes". Global Crayfish Resources. Carnegie Museum of Natural History.
  9. ^ Mejía-Ortíz, L.M.; R.G. Hartnoll; J.A. Viccon-Pale (2003). "A New Stygobitic Crayfish from Mexico, Procambarus Cavernicola (Decapoda: Cambaridae), with a Review of Cave-Dwelling Crayfishes in Mexico". Journal of Crustacean Biology. 23 (2): 391–401. doi:10.1163/20021975-99990349.
  10. ^ Arnold Edward Ortmann (1905). "Procambarus, a new subgenus of the genus Cambarus". Annals of the Carnegie Museum. 3 (3).

External links[edit]