Santa Fe Cave Crayfish

Santa Fe Cave Crayfish Distribution Map

Santa Fe Cave Crayfish: Procambarus erythrops

Taxonomic Classification

Kingdom: Animalia 
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class:  Crustacea
Order: Decapoda
Family: Cambaridae
Genus/Species: Procambarus erythrops
Common Name: Santa Fe cave crayfish (also known as the Sim’s Sink crayfish)

Listing Status

Federal Status: Not Listed 
FL Status:
State-designated Threatened
FNAI Ranks: G1/S1 (Critically Imperiled)                        
IUCN Status:
EN (Endangered)

Physical Description

The Santa Fe cave crayfish is a mid-sized crayfish that can reach a length of 3.5 inches (8.9 centimeters). This species is white with red-toned eyes (Florida Natural Areas Inventory 2001).

Life History

It is not clear what Santa Fe cave crayfish feed on, however, they are probably detritivores – feed on decomposed organic matter (NatureServe 2010).

Males capable of reproduction are found between the months of January and July, with mating occurring between March and July. There is no data on spawning or the amount of young produced, as no egg-bearing female has ever been found (NatureServe Explorer 2010, Franz 1994).

Habitat and Distribution

Santa Fe Cave Crayfish Distribution MapSanta Fe cave crayfish inhabit groundwater areas in caves and sinkholes in southern Suwannee and southwestern Columbia counties in Florida (Florida Natural Areas Inventory 2001, Franz 1994, Franz et al. 1994, NatureServe 2010, Tom Morris pers. comm. 2010).


Habitat degradation seems to be the biggest threat to the Santa Fe cave crayfish. The change of its habitat’s water system and weathering rock flows can potentially threaten the Santa Fe cave crayfish population (NatureServe 2010). Other threats include the dumping of garbage in vulnerable areas, pollution of groundwater, and the effects of mining on the position of the water table (Florida Natural Areas Inventory 2001).

Conservation and Management

The Santa Fe 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 BSRAdobe PDF

Species Action Plan Adobe PDF

Other Informative Links

Florida Natural Areas Inventory
International Union for Conservation of Nature



Printable version of this page Adobe PDF


Florida Natural Areas Inventory.  2001.  Field guide to the rare animals of Florida.  

Franz, R., J. Bauer, and T. Morris. 1994. Review of biologically significant caves and their  faunas in Florida and South Georgia. Brimleyana 20: 1-109.

Franz, R. 1994. Rare: Santa Fe cave crayfish. Pp. 195-197 in Deyrup, M. and R. Franz (eds.). Rare and endangered biota of Florida. Volume IV. Invertebrates. University Press of Florida.

NatureServe. 2010. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available (Accessed: April 5, 2011).

Image Credit FWC

FWC Facts:
The FWC operates two freshwater fish hatcheries: the Florida Bass Conservation Center in Sumter County, and the Blackwater Hatchery in Santa Rosa County.

Learn More at AskFWC