Black Creek Crayfish


Black Creek crayfish: Procambarus pictus

Taxonomic Classification

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Crustacea
Order: Decapoda
Family: Cambaridae
Genus/Species: Procambarus pictus
Common Name: Black Creek crayfish

Listing Status

Federal Status: Not Listed 
FL Status: State-designated Threatened
FNAI Ranks: G2/S2 (Imperiled)
IUCN Status: NT (Near Threatened)

Physical Description

The Black Creek crayfish is a mid-sized crayfish that can reach a length of three inches (7.6 centimeters).  This species has a black back (called a carapace) with yellow and white marks, and a dark red abdomen with black bands that wrap around.  Black Creek crayfish can also be distinguished from other crayfish by the ten bumps located on their claws, where other species would have hair-like features (Florida Natural Areas Inventory 2001). 

Life History

Spotted Royal Crayfish Distribution MapThe diet of the Black Creek crayfish primarily consists of dead animals, plants, and decomposed organic matter.

Reproductive males can be found from January to September while females can be found in a reproductive state between the months of June and August.  The average clutch size ranges from 47-146 eggs, with the eggs hatching in the first part of June.  The young reach maturity in one year, just before they reach their maximum age of 16 months (Franz 1994).

Habitat and Distribution

Black Creek crayfish inhabit tannic stained streams where they can be found taking refuge under tree roots and in vegetation (Franz 1994). This species can be found in St. Johns, Duval, Clay, and Putnam counties in Florida.


The Black Creek crayfish is restricted to higher water quality headwaters, which makes it vulnerable to pollution, siltation (pollution of water by silt and clay), damming, and changes in water temperature (Franz and Franz 1979, Florida Natural Areas Inventory 2001).  These threats occur from increased urbanization, road shoulder erosion, mining, and silviculture (cultivation of trees) (Florida Natural Areas Inventory 2001). 

Conservation and Management

The Black Creek crayfish is protected as a State-designated Threatened species by Florida’s Endangered and Threatened Species Rule.

Biological Status Review (BSR) Adobe PDF
Supplemental Information for the BSR Adobe PDF

Species Action Plan Adobe PDF

Other Informative Links

Florida Natural Areas Inventory External Website
International Union for Conservation of Nature External Website



Printable version of this page Adobe PDF


Florida Natural Areas Inventory.  2001.  Field guide to the rare animals of Florida. Adobe PDF External Website

Franz, R. and L.M. Franz. 1979. Distribution, habitat preference and status of populations of the  Black Creek crayfish, Procambarus (Ortmannicus) pictus (Decapoda: Cambaridae). Florida Scientist 42: 13-17.

Franz, R. 1994. Rare: Black Creek crayfish. Pp. 211-214 in Deyrup, M. and R. Franz (eds.). Rare and endangered biota of Florida. Volume IV. Invertebrates. University Press of Florida.

Image Credit FWC, Eric Nelson and Daniel Gualtieri

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