Barbicambarus

Photos and text by Roger Thoma

   
Barbicambarus cornutus
This is probably the largest crayfish species found in North America. Its a wonderfully interesting species. First described by Walter Faxon in 1884, it was not seen again until the 1960s when Dr. David H. Stansbery found it in the Green River basin of Kentucky (the only stream system it is found in). Dr. Stansbery relayed to me that he was looking for crayfish when he asked a couple local boys, who had been fishing, if they had seen any crayfish and
they replied "No, but there's lobsters down in the creek." They are quite large (Chris Taylor and Gunter Schuster will have much more information on them in their upcoming book "The Crayfishes of Kentucky") and live under very large limestone slabs. Ray Jezerinac and I collected this individual in 1972 by jumping up and down on a boulder, causing it to rock up and down until the crayfish (3 individuals) came swimming out. We then chased them down and caught them by hand. This picture does not do the species justice. Its coloration is much more dramatic.

New photo below by Chris Lukhaup

   

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