- Federal Status: Threatened
- FL Status: Federally-designated Threatened
- FNAI Ranks: G1/S1 (Critically Imperiled)
- IUCN Status: EN (Endangered)
Header photo credit: Ryan Hagerty, USFWS
The Panama City crayfish is a small member of the Family Cambaridae that reaches a body length of two inches (5.1 centimeters). This species has a brown body with a dark brown to black stripe and a light brown to tan stripe that stretches from the head to its tail. The sides of the cephalothorax (the head and chest) are tan with reddish-brown spots.
The diet of the Panama City crayfish primarily consists of dead animals, plants and decomposed organic matter.
Little is known about the reproduction of the Panama City crayfish. Many members of the Family Cambaridae breed more than once and young of the year may be sexually mature; however, sexual activity usually begins the following summer or fall. The average reproductive age is between one and seven years.
The Panama City crayfish makes burrows in wet flatwoods habitat in the Panama City area, but is free-swimming when the wetlands are holding water (Florida Natural Areas Inventory 2001).
The main threat to the Panama City crayfish is the loss of habitat. Increased development in the Panama City area has eliminated habitat for the species. Wetland drainage for development projects has contributed to habitat loss (Florida Natural Areas Inventory 2001). The restricted range makes the species vulnerable to extinction from natural and environmental catastrophes such as hurricanes and oil spills. Other potential threats include ditch maintenance, soil disturbing silvicultural (cultivation of trees) practices, off-road vehicles, pesticide and herbicide use and collection for bait.