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Joined: Dec 2017
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Northern Piedmont region of NC, county borders Virginia. Clay bottom turbid pond.
I can get two or three of these with every pull of the rake. All different sizes.
Lots of leaves and sticks on the bottom.
Recently stocked with 3" LMB and 6" CC. Added a few decent sized (bucket stocked) LMB last year. They don't appear to be putting much pressure on the crayfish population.

Here is a link to the most common types of crayfish in NC. Can I get opinions on which one it most resembles?
At first glance, I'm leaning towards the Edisto, Pamlico or Santee but none of those show as having a range anywhere near me.
Very few plants growing in the pond.
I'm wondering if the crayfish have anything to do with it.

http://ncwildlife.org/Learning/Species/Crustaceans









Last edited by Clay N' Pray; 05/12/18 04:16 PM.

Half acre 30 year old farm pond, Mebane NC. Aeration & feeder.
LMB, CC, SC, BG, HBC, two no account welfare carp and nine seasonal Tilapia that all the other fish are terrified of.

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I think your crayfish is an immature due to the size of its front 'claws'. Try to get a couple pictures of one with larger front claws and a clear close pic of the head from the top view. I think your crays are one of the genus Orconectes. Maybe a 'northern crayfish' O.virilis?


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I caught a few more, even the larger ones have very small claws. The large ones and the small ones all look alike, except for the size.

Originally Posted By: Bill Cody
I think your crayfish is an immature due to the size of its front 'claws'. Try to get a couple pictures of one with larger front claws and a clear close pic of the head from the top view. I think your crays are one of the genus Orconectes. Maybe a 'northern crayfish' O.virilis?














Half acre 30 year old farm pond, Mebane NC. Aeration & feeder.
LMB, CC, SC, BG, HBC, two no account welfare carp and nine seasonal Tilapia that all the other fish are terrified of.

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Okay if those are adults then my next best guess is Chowanoke crayfish (Orconectes virginiensis). Rostrum has correct shape, Aerola is correct, cervical spine correct. For a positive ID one needs to see the gonopods of the first form males. Orange tips on the claws are missing compared to the photos on ncwildlife website. Color of claws can be variable depending on habitat and food source.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 05/13/18 09:29 PM.

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Originally Posted By: Bill Cody
Okay if those are adults then my next best guess is Chowanoke crayfish (Orconectes virginiensis). Rostrum has correct shape, Aerola is correct, cervical spine correct. For a positive ID one needs to see the gonopods of the first form males. Orange tips on the claws are missing compared to the photos on ncwildlife website. Color of claws can be variable depending on habitat and food source.


Are the number of antenna a good feature to use as an identifier?
If so, the Chowenoke has 4 small antenna and two large.
My crayfish (all examples) have two small and two large.
Never realized those little buggers were so hard to identify!

Last edited by Clay N' Pray; 05/14/18 04:32 AM.

Half acre 30 year old farm pond, Mebane NC. Aeration & feeder.
LMB, CC, SC, BG, HBC, two no account welfare carp and nine seasonal Tilapia that all the other fish are terrified of.

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Some folks have suggested the white river crayfish is a good match and the range is correct. However, the number of small antenna is wrong. Mine have only two.
I attached a pic of a White river that I pulled off the NC page.
Color, claws etc all match.

Attached Images
original.jpg
Last edited by Clay N' Pray; 05/14/18 05:13 AM.

Half acre 30 year old farm pond, Mebane NC. Aeration & feeder.
LMB, CC, SC, BG, HBC, two no account welfare carp and nine seasonal Tilapia that all the other fish are terrified of.

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The white river cray belongs to a different genus (Procamparus) compared to the Chowenoke (Orconectes). The white river cray is very common and thrives in ponds.
Typically the number and length of the antenna are not mentioned in my ID keys nor descriptions for separating the species. Identification from just pictures can be tricky.

The adult white river crays get quite large and their claws(chela) are noticeably long for old adults. Older white river crays are at least 2-3 times longer than the lip balm container in your picture big ones for sure and eatable. The entire length of claw for old White Rv cray to the first joint is as long as the distance from the eyes to the (back end of the cephalothorax or carapace) beginning of abdomen. Young White Rv individuals could easily have shorter claws. Your specimens have noticeably short chela if they are mature adults. If you can pull off one or both of the male gonopods and get a couple close pics of it that will clearly help in a positive ID. Then we can get a more positive name. The hard part will be getting a good close clear picture of the gonopods.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 05/14/18 02:30 PM.

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