Invertebrate Zoology

Assistant Curator of Crustacea James Fetzner

A new species of crayfish described from the Ohio River, the Leopard Crayfish Orconectes (Procericambarus) pardalotus Wetzel, Poly and Fetzner, 2005 opardalotus 

A new crayfish is described from the main channel of the lower Ohio River between Illinois and Kentucky based on examination of over 185 specimens. The new species, with gonopods of form I males typical of the subgenus Procericambarus (sensu Fitzpatrick), accounts for some of the variation previously ascribed to Orconectes placidus in Illinois.

O. pardalotus is most similar to allopatric O. forceps, O. barrenensis, and O. durelli but can be distinguished from them and other species using colour in life, shape of chelae, and other characters. Colour in life can be used to diagnose O. pardalotus and preserved specimens can be distinguished from sympatric O. placidus and many other species by the shape of the chelae and the absence of a distomedian carpal spine on the first pereiopod of O. pardalotus (present in O. placidus) and can be distinguished further from O. luteus using denticle arrangement on the chelae and structure of the gonopods of form I males. O. pardalotus is associated with rocky microhabitats at and below the summer minimum water level of the Ohio River. Notes about reproductive period and oviposition of captive specimens are provided.

Wetzel, J. E., W. J. Poly and J. W. Fetzner, Jr. 2005. Orconectes pardalotus, a new species of crayfish (Decapoda: Cambaridae) from the lower Ohio River with notes on its life history. Aqua, Journal of Ichthyology and Aquatic Biology 10(2):57-72.

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