Skip to main content

Santa Fe Cave Crayfish

Procambarus erythrops

Listing Status

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

Appearance

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).

Behavior

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

Santa Fe Cave Crayfish map

Santa 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).

Threats

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)
Supplemental Information for the BSR
Species Action Plan

References

Florida Natural Areas Inventory.  2001.  Field guide to the rare animals of Florida.
http://www.fnai.org/FieldGuide/pdf/Procambarus_erythrops.PDF

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  http://www.natureserve.org/explorer. (Accessed: April 5, 2011).

Banner photo by Jonathan Mays