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Range Extensions of Three Crayfishes (Faxonius yanahlindus, F. placidus, and F. erichsonianus) into Mississippi
Susan B. Adams and Robert L. Jones

Southeastern Naturalist, Volume 17, Issue 1 (2018): N6–N9

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2018 Southeastern Naturalist Notes Vol. 17, No. 1 N6 S.B. Adams and R.L. Jones Range Extensions of Three Crayfishes (Faxonius yanahlindus, F. placidus, and F. erichsonianus) into Mississippi Susan B. Adams1,* and Robert L. Jones2 Abstract - We report 3 new state crayfish records from the Tennessee River drainage in Tishomingo County, Mississippi: 1 is a re-identification of previously published material, and 2 are from unpublished collections. Faxonius yanahlindus (Spinywrist Crayfish), recently described from the middle Tennessee River drainage in northwest Alabama and southern Tennessee, is closely related to F. spinosus (Coosa River Spiny Crayfish) and F. putnami (Phallic Crayfish). In light of the new species description, we re-examined crayfish collected in southern tributaries of the Tennessee River in northeast Mississippi that were previously identified as F. spinosus or F. putnami. We reassigned the specimens to F. yanahlindus, extending the species’ range into northeast Mississippi. We also report new state records of 2 other crayfishes. Faxonius placidus (Bigclaw Crayfish) was collected from Whetstone Branch, a tributary of Pickwick Reservoir on the Tennessee River, and F. erichsonianus (Reticulate Crayfish) was collected from Cedar Creek, a tributary of Bear Creek in the Tennessee River basin. The small portion of the Tennessee River drainage that extends into northeast Mississippi contains numerous examples of aquatic fauna more typical of northern Alabama and Tennessee than of the remainder of Mississippi (e.g., Ross 2001). Within Mississippi, several crayfishes, including some Cambarus and Faxonius (formerly Orconectes) species, are restricted to this corner of the state but have larger distributions extending into Alabama or Tennessee (Adams et al. 2010). Faxonius yanahlindus (Taylor, Rhoden, and Schuster) (Spinywrist Crayfish) was recently described from the Tennessee River drainage in northwestern Alabama and southwestern Tennessee (Taylor et al. 2016). The crayfish belongs to the F. juvenilis (Hagen) species complex in the subgenus Procericambarus. Specimens from the new species’ range and the current study area were previously classified as F. putnami (Faxon) (Phallic Crayfish) (Taylor 2000) or F. spinosus (Bundy) (Coosa River Spiny Crayfish) (Adams et al. 2010). Crayfish belonging to the F. juvenilis species complex had been collected from southern tributaries to the middle Tennessee River drainage in northeast Mississippi (Adams et al. 2010) but were not included in the description of F. yanahlindus (Taylor et al. 2016). Therefore, we re-examined the specimens to determine whether or not they should be assigned to F. yanahlindus. All morphological characters and measurements on the Mississippi specimens are consistent with those described for F. yanahlindus (Taylor et al. 2016). All specimens either lacked a carina or had a very weak carina on the dorsal surface of the rostrum, had a distomedian spine on the ventral surface of the carpus, and had dentate incisor regions of the mandibles. Areola lengths were close to or greater than 30% of the total carapace length (TCL) (Table 1). On form I males (MI), total lengths of the gonopods (GL) were ≤45% of the TCL, and the central projection (CP) lengths were >50% of the GL (Table 1). Therefore, we reassigned the specimens to F. yanahlindus, extending the species’ range into extreme northeast Mississippi. A collection of F. yanahlindus made 24 June 2007 contained 3 MI, 2 form II males (MII), and 2 females (F). The largest individual was an MII (TCL = 40.8 mm; postorbital carapace 1USDA Forest Service, Southern Research Station, Center for Bottomland Hardwoods Research, 1000 Front Street, Oxford, MS 38655. 2Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, Museum of Natural Science, 2148 Riverside Drive, Jackson, MS 39202. *Corresponding author - sadams01@fs.fed.us. Manuscript Editor: Bronwyn Williams Notes of the Southeastern Naturalist, Issue 17/1, 2018 N7 2018 Southeastern Naturalist Notes Vol. 17, No. 1 S.B. Adams and R.L. Jones length = 31.7). All except 1 MII and 1 F appear to have molted 1–2 weeks before collection. The crayfish were collected by hand from a highly modified stream reach with rip-rap in the streambed and vegetation along the margins. Faxonius placidus (Hagen) (Bigclaw Crayfish), including 2 MI, were collected by hand from beneath rocks in 2009 from Whetstone Branch, a tributary of Pickwick Reservoir (an impoundment of the Tennessee River), and identified as Orconectes sp. in the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science (MMNS; Jackson, MS) collection. The long, nearly straight terminal elements of the form I male gonopods place them in the Procericambarus subgenus, but 2 characteristics distinguish them from the F. juvenilis species complex (Taylor et al. 2016): gonopods lacking a shoulder at the base of the central projection and CP:GL ratios less than 45% (Table 1). Also, compared to F. yanahlindus, the specimens have relatively longer chelae and more widely gaping fingers. Adams et al. (2010) hypothesized that the following additional Faxonius (Procericambarus) spp. present in northwest Alabama may also occur in Mississippi: F. durelli (Bouchard and Bouchard) (Saddle Crayfish), F. forceps (Faxon) (Surgeon Crayfish), and F. mirus (Ortmann) (Wonderful Crayfish). However, the Whetstone Branch specimens differ from each of those, having well-developed cervical spines, which F. mirus lacks (Ortmann 1931, Wetzel et al. 2005); distomedian spines on the ventral surface of the carpus, which F. forceps lacks (Poly and Wetzel 2003); and long fingers on the chelae, unlike the relatively stocky chelae with short fingers found on F. durelli (Taylor and Schuster 2004). Similar specimens were collected from Pickwick Reservoir in Alabama (US Forest Service, Center for Bottomland Hardwoods Research, Oxford, MS [CBHR] 5476, unpubl. data), and their identification as F. placidus was confirmed by Guenter Schuster (Eastern Kentucky University, emeritus, Richmond, KY, pers. comm.). In Alabama, the species has been documented only from the Tennessee River drainage, but the range extends north into Illinois (Hobbs 1989). Four collections from Cedar Creek, a tributary of Bear Creek in the Tennessee River drainage, contain Faxonius (Crockerinus) erichsonianus (Faxon) (Reticulate Crayfish). Crayfish were collected in seines during fish sampling from 1999 to 2015. In Alabama, the species is abundant in Cedar Creek farther upstream (Z. Barnett, US Forest Service, Oxford, MS, unpubl. data) and is present in Bear Creek downstream of the confluence with Cedar Creek (J. Simmons, Tennessee Valley Authority, Chattanooga, TN, pers. comm.), but it has Table 1. Measurements (mm) of form I male Faxonius (Procericambarus) spp. from the Tennessee River drainage in Mississippi. Total carapace length (TCL), areola length (AL), total gonopod length (GL), and central projection length (CP) were measured as in Taylor et al. (2016) using dial calipers. Catalog number TCL AL (% of TCL) GL (% of TCL) CP (% of GL) F. yanahlindus (Taylor, Rhoden, and Schuster) (Spinywrist Crayfish) USNM 148759 30.7 9.0 (29.3) 13.7 (44.6) 7.8 (56.9) CBHR 987_01 38.1 11.3 (29.7) 16.7 (43.8) 8.9 (53.3) CBHR 987_02 37.4 11.0 (29.4) 15.4 (41.2) 8.4 (54.5) CBHR 987_03 -A 11.6 16.7 8.9 (53.3) MMNS 3300 38.9 12.8 (32.9) 16.9 (43.4) 9.0 (53.2) F. placidus (Hagen) (Bigclaw Crayfish) MMNS 2326_1 34.9 12.4 (35.5) 11.0 (31.5) 4.6 (41.8) MMNS 2326_2 29.9 10.5 (35.1) 10.2 (34.1) 4.4 (43.1) ADeformed rostrum prevented obtaining accurate CL. 2018 Southeastern Naturalist Notes Vol. 17, No. 1 N8 S.B. Adams and R.L. Jones not been reported from Mississippi. It occurs in numerous river systems in Alabama and extends northeast into southwestern Virginia (Hobbs 1989, Schusteret al. 2008). Specimens examined. All collections were from the middle Tennessee River drainage in extreme northeastern Mississippi, Tishomingo County. Abbreviations not previously defined include: US National Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC (USNM); juvenile male (JM), and juvenile female (JF). Faxonius yanahlindus. We examined specimens from 2 published and 5 unpublished crayfish collections from Mississippi previously identified as F. spinosus: (1) Robinson Creek, 3.2 km (2 mi) S of Crossroads (S.B. Adams added: junction of highways 365 and 25), 1 mile W of State Route 25] 34.8997, -88.2611 (georeferenced by S.B. Adams), 1-MI, 18 October 1974, G. Clemmer (USNM 148759); (2) Same locality as USNM 148759, 1-F. 1-JM, 5 October 1975, G. Clemmer (MMNS 1570); (3) Robinson Creek, 1 mile east of Hwy 25, one mile south of Crossroads, 34.91090, -88.25940 (georeferenced by R.L. Jones), 1-F, 23 September 1977, G. Clemmer (MMNS 1568); (4) Robinson Creek at County Road 982, two miles south of Crossroads, 34.90189, -88.26126, 1-MII, 1-F, 22 September 2000, R.L. Jones, W.T. Slack, R. Weitzell, and T. Majure (MMNS 2680); (5) Robinson Creek at TennTom Waterway between closed bridge and control structure at mouth, 34.91128, -88.25878, 3-MI, 2-MII, 2-F, 24 June 2007, S.B. Adams, C. Lukhaup, and C.A. Quinn (CBHR 987); (6) Martin Branch at County Road 321, T2S R10E SE4 Section 10, 34.91807, -88.23217, 1-MI, 2-JM, 5-JF, 25 September 2012, R.L. Jones and S. Peyton (MMNS 3300); (7) Same locality as MMNS 3300, 4-MII, 1-F, 14 June 2012, S. Peyton and H. Sullivan (MMNS 3141). In addition, we changed the identification of the following specimen to F. yanahlindus without examining it: same locality as USNM 148759, 1-JM, 10 October 1975, G. Clemmer (USNM 178261: identified as F. putnami by J.F. Fitzpatrick, Jr. in 1982, changed to F. spinosus by S.B. Adams in 2010). Faxonius placidus. Whetstone Branch below Brogdan Hollow, 34.95481, -88.18891, 2-MI, 30 March 2009, A. Francois, A. Sanderson, and M. Stegall (MMNS 2326). Faxonius erichsonianus. (1) Cedar Creek at county road bridge east of Mingo, T5S R11E Section 21, 34.62750, -89.14181, 3-MII, 2-F, 15 September 1999, R.L. Jones and W.T. Slack (MMNS 2378); (2) Same locality as MMNS 2378, 2-JM, 1-JF, 30 August 2011, T. Stubbs (MMNS 3160); (3) Same locality as MMNS 2378, 4-MII, 3-F, 3-JM, 2-JF, 25 September 2012, R.L. Jones, W.T. Slack, and S. Peyton (MMNS 3289); (4) Same locality as MMNS 2378,1-MII, 14 August 2015, M.D. Wagner and H.N. Thompson (MMNS 5559). Acknowledgments. We appreciate the many people who collected the specimens over the years and thank Karen Reed and Courtney Wickel (Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History) for providing specimens for our examination. Literature Cited Adams, S.B., C.A. Taylor, and C. Lukhaup. 2010. Crayfish fauna of the Tennessee River drainage in Mississippi, including new state species records. Southeastern Naturalist 9:521–528. Hobbs, H.H., Jr. 1989. An illustrated checklist of the American crayfishes (Decapoda: Astacidae, Cambaridae, and Parastacidae). Smithsonian Contributions to Zoo logy 480:1–236. Ortmann, A.E. 1931. IV. Crawfishes of the Southern Appalachians and the Cumberland Plateau. Annals of the Carnegie Museum 20:61–160. Poly, W.J., and J.E. Wetzel. 2003. Distribution and taxonomy of 3 species of Orconectes (Decapoda: Cambaridae) in Illinois, USA. Journal of Crustacean Biology 23: 380–390. Ross, S.T. 2001. The Inland Fishes of Mississippi. University Press of Mississippi, Jackson, MS. 624 pp. Schuster, G.A., C.A. Taylor, and J. Johansen. 2008. An annotated checklist and preliminary designation of drainage distributions of the crayfishes of Alabama. Southeastern Naturalist 7:493–504. N9 2018 Southeastern Naturalist Notes Vol. 17, No. 1 S.B. Adams and R.L. Jones Taylor, C. A. 2000. Systematic studies of the Orconectes juvenilis complex (Decapoda: Cambaridae), with descriptions of 2 new species. Journal of Crustacean Biolo gy 20:132–152. Taylor, C.A., and G.A. Schuster. 2004. The Crayfishes of Kentucky. Illinois Natural History Survey Special Publication No. 28. Champaign, IL. 219 pp. Taylor, C.A., C.M. Rhoden and G.A. Schuster. 2016. A new species of crayfish in the genus Orconectes (Decapoda: Cambaridae) from the Tennessee River drainage with comments on and key to members of the O. juvenilis species complex. Zootaxa 4208:161–175. Wetzel, J.E., W.J. Poly, and J.W. Fetzner Jr. 2005. Orconectes pardalotus, a new species of crayfish (Decapoda: Cambaridae) from the lower Ohio River with notes on its life history. Journal of Ichthyology and Aquatic Biology 10:57–72.