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Order Description


Order Description

The Order Decapoda distinguishes the crabs, crayfish, lobsters, and shrimp from other malacostracans, such as krill, pill bugs, and mantis shrimp. They are called decapods because they have ten limbs (decaten, pod = foot).

Family Cambaridae

The Cambaridae are a family of freshwater crayfish found any many areas of North America, as well as in some parts of East Asia.

Crayfish are omnivorous, which means that they eat both plants and other animals. Some survive mostly on plankton, while others capture and eat larger animals, such as fish, with their strong claws.

Unlike many other aquatic invertebrates, such as mussels, crayfish do not pass through a larval stage in their lifecycle. They hatch from their eggs as juvenile crayfish. This distinguishes them from similar looking crustaceans, such as lobsters and prawns, which do have a larval stage. The juvenile crayfish remain with their mother for protection from predators, attaching themselves to her with hook-like appendages. As they mature, usually within a few weeks, they leave the protection of their mother and begin to live independently.
Species in this family:
    Broad River Burrowing Crayfish (Distocambarus (Distocambarus) devexus)
    Chattahoochee Crayfish (Cambarus (Cambarus) howardi)
    Chauga/Oconee Crayfish (Cambarus (Puncticambarus) chaugaensis)
    Chickamauga Crayfish (Cambarus (Puncticambarus) extraneus)
    Conasauga Blue Burrower (Cambarus (Depressicambarus) cymatilis)
    Crayfish (Cambarus (Jugicambarus) distans)
    Crayfish (Cambarus (Jugicambarus) conasaugaensis)
    Crayfish (Cambarus (Hiaticambarus) coosawattae)
    Crayfish (Cambarus (Jugicambarus) asperimanus)
    Crayfish (Cambarus (Depressicambarus) englishi)
    Crayfish (Cambarus (Hiaticambarus) fasciatus)
    Crayfish (Cambarus (Depressicambarus) halli)
    Crayfish (Cambarus (Hiaticambarus) longirostris)
    Crayfish (Cambarus (Hiaticambarus) manningi)
    Crayfish (Cambarus (Puncticambarus) parrishi)
    Crayfish (Cambarus (Jugicambarus) parvoculus)
    Crayfish (Cambarus (Depressicambarus) reflexus)
    Crayfish (Cambarus (Puncticambarus) scotti)
    Crayfish (Cambarus (Hiaticambarus) speciosus)
    Crayfish (Cambarus (Depressicambarus) strigosus)
    Crayfish (Cambarus (Jugicambarus) unestami)
    Crayfish (Procambarus (Ortmannicus) acutissimus)
    Crayfish (Procambarus (Ortmannicus) epicyrtus)
    Crayfish (Procambarus (Pennides) versutus)
    Dougherty Plain Cave Crayfish (Cambarus (Jugicambarus) cryptodytes)
    Hiwassee Crayfish (Cambarus (Puncticambarus) hiwasseensis)
    Knotty Burrowing Crayfish (Cambarus (Jugicambarus) nodosus)
    Little Tennessee Crayfish (Cambarus (Puncticambarus) georgiae)
    Oconee Burrowing Crayfish (Cambarus (Depressicambarus) truncatus)
    Piedmont Blue Burrower (Cambarus (Depressicambarus) harti)