Page last updated Tue 14 Mar 2017

Navigation:
  Home
  Animalia
  Porifera
  Cnidaria
  Platyhelminthes
  Nemertea
  Gastrotricha
  Rotifera
  Nematoda
  Nematomorpha
  Entoprocta
  Bryozoa
  Annelida
  Bivalvia
  Gastropoda
  Tardigrada
  Arachnida
  Branchiopoda
  Copepoda
  Branchiura
  Ostracoda
  Syncarida
  Peracarida
  Decapoda

Image from Wikipedia.
Order Decapoda (crabs, crayfishes, shrimps)

The crustacean (Malacostraca) order Decapoda is is composed of two suborders, only one of which occurs in fresh waters: Pleocyemata. The suborder is divided into 7 infraorders, with four representatives in non-marine habitats: Anomura, Brachyura, Caridea, and Astacidea. Of these, only the latter two inhabit in-land waterways in North America.

The crayfishes and lobsters comprise the Astacidea. There are c. 780 species of astacideans worldwide in marine and freshwater habitats, of which the non-marine crayfish comprise 640 species (33 genera, 3 families). The majority of these species occur in North America, with different assemblages east and west of the continental divide. In total, there are 382 Nearctic species in 12 genera in 2 families (Crandall & Buhay, 2008). The rest of the North American freshwater decapods are represented 17 species (5 genera, 3 families) of caridean shrimps (De Grave et al., 2008).

The brachyuran crabs are well represented in global fresh waters (including Central and South America), but only tangentially relevant to North American freshwater invertebrates. Of the truly freshwater brachyuran families, only one, Pseudothelphusidae, makes it as far north as the High Plateau of Mexico (Yeo et al., 2008). Other genera are found in brackish waters, but they are absent from in-land waters. Freshwater anomurans are represented by only a single genus in southern South America (Bond-Backup et al., 2008).

Decapods are large (cm-dm length) and among the best recognized freshwater crustaceans. Because they are common exemplars in introductory zoology labs, their morphology is often regarded as “typical.” The Decapoda has earned its name by its 5 pairs (= 10) of pereopods (walking legs). The five appendages of the head augmented by three maxillipeds from the thorax. The five (of 8) remaining thoracic appendages are the pereopods. In crayfish, the first pereopods are well-developed with chelae. The head and pereon (thorax) are covered dorsally by a large carapace. The pleon (abdomen) bears 5 pairs of pleopods (swimmerets) and a pair of uropods. The latter, with the telson, forms the tail fan. The head bears stalked compound eyes. These crustaceans are generally omnivores. Decapods are gonochoristic (often with strong dimorphism), and reproduction is almost exclusively sexual. Fertilize eggs are cared for by the female, and development is direct.

Go to images library.

Bibliography

  • Hobbs, H.H. & D.M. Lodge. 2010. Decapoda. [in] J.H. Thorp & A.P. Covich (eds.). Ecology and Classification of North American Freshwater Invertebrates, 3rd edition: 901-967.
  • Covich, A.P., J.H. Thorp & D.C. Rogers. 2010. Introduction to the Subphylum Crustacea. [in] J.H. Thorp & A.P. Covich (eds.). Ecology and Classification of North American Freshwater Invertebrates, 3rd edition: 695-723.
  • Yeo, D.C.J., P.K.L. Ng, N. Cumberlidge, C. Magalhães, S.R. Daniels & M.R. Campos. 2008. Global diversity of crabs (Crustacea: Decapoda: Brachyura) in freshwater. Hydrobiologia 595: 275-286. [Available online]
  • De Grave, S., Y. Cai & A. Anker. 2008. Global diversity of shrimps (Crustacea: Decapoda: Caridea) in freshwater. Hydrobiologia 595: 287-293. [Available online]
  • Crandall, K.A. & J.E. Buhay. 2008. Global diversity of crayfish (Astacidae, Cambaridae, and Parastacidae — Decapoda) . Hydrobiologia 595: 295-301. [Available online]
  • Smith, D.G. 2001. Decapoda (Crayfishes, shrimps). Pennak's Freshwater Invertebrates of the United States, 4th edition: 585-608.
  • Underhill, J.C., W.D. Schmid & D.E. Gilbertson. 1982. Taxonomic Keys to the Common Animals of the North Central States, exclusive of the parasitic worms, terrestrial insects, and birds, 4th edition. 205 pp.
  • Strenth, N.E. 1976. A review of the systematics and zoogeography of the freshwater species of Palaemonetes Heller of North America (Crustacea: Decapoda). Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology (228): 1-27. [Available online]
  • Hobbs, H.H., jr. 1972. Crayfishes (Astacidae) of North and Middle America. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Biota of Freshwater Ecosystems Identification Manual 9. 173 pp. [Available online]
  • Chace, F.A., jr., J.G. Mackin, L. Hubricht, A.H. Banner & H.H. Hobbs, jr. 1959. Malacostraca. [in] W.T. Edmondson (ed.). Ward & Whipple Fresh-Water Biology, 2nd edition: 869-901.

Student Essays

Web Pages

Classification of Freshwater Taxa

Only taxa found in North America are listed. Formatting indicates if they are known (to us) from North America, the midwestern states or Wisconsin.

Kingdom Animalia [details]
Subkingdom Eumetazoa [details]
clade Bilateria [details]
clade Protostomia [details]
Superphylum Ecdysozoa [details]
Phylum Arthropoda [details]
Subphylum Crustacea [details]
Class Malacostraca [details]
Subclass Eumalacostraca [details]
Superorder Eucarida [details]
Order Decapoda (crabs, crayfishes, shrimps) [details]
  .   Suborder Pleocyemata (+ Macrura Reptantia) [details]
  .    .   infraorder Astacidea (+ Nephropsidea) [details]
  .    .    .   Superfamily Astacoidea (crayfish, crawdads) [details]
  .    .    .    .   Family Cambaridae [details]
  .    .    .    .    .   Genus Cambarus [details]
  .    .    .    .    .    .   Species C. diogenes, C. bartonii (+ C. montanus), C. robustus, C. acanthura, C. aculabrum, ..., etc.
  .    .    .    .    .   Genus Fallicambarus [details]
  .    .    .    .    .    .   Species F. fodiens (+ F. hedgpethi), F. burrisi, F. byersi, F. caesius, F. danielae, ..., etc.
  .    .    .    .    .   Genus Orconectes [details]
  .    .    .    .    .    .   Species O. immunis, O. propinquus, O. rusticus, O. obscurus, O. virilis, ..., etc.
  .    .    .    .    .   Genus Procambarus [details]
  .    .    .    .    .    .   Species P. acutus, P. gracilis, P. blandingii, P. ablusus, P. acanthophorus, ..., etc.
  .    .    .    .    .   Genus Barbicambarus [details]
  .    .    .    .    .    .   Species B. cornutus, B. simmonsi
  .    .    .    .    .   Genus Bouchardina [details]
  .    .    .    .    .    .   Species B. robisoni [detail]
  .    .    .    .    .   Genus Cambarellus [details]
  .    .    .    .    .    .   Species C. blacki, C. diminutus, C. lesliei, C. ninae, C. puer, ..., etc.
  .    .    .    .    .   Genus Distocambarus [details]
  .    .    .    .    .    .   Species D. carlsoni, D. crockeri, D. devexus, D. hunteri, D. youngineri
  .    .    .    .    .   Genus Faxonella [details]
  .    .    .    .    .    .   Species F. beyeri, F. blairi, F. clypeata, F. creaseri
  .    .    .    .    .   Genus Hobbseus [details]
  .    .    .    .    .    .   Species H. attenuatus, H. cristatus, H. orconectoides, H. petilus, H. prominens, H. valleculus, H. yalobushensis
  .    .    .    .    .   Genus Troglocambarus [details]
  .    .    .    .    .    .   Species T. maclanei [detail]
  .    .    .    .   Family Astacidae (+ Cambarinae) [details]
  .    .    .    .    .   Genus Pacifastacus [details]
  .    .    .    .    .    .   Species P. gambelii, P. leniusculus (+ P. trowbridgii, + P. klamathensis), P. nigrescens
  .    .   infraorder Caridea (caridean shrimp) [details]
  .    .    .   Superfamily Palaemonoidea [details]
  .    .    .    .   Family Palaemonidae [details]
  .    .    .    .    .   Genus Palaemonetes (+ Alaocaris) [details]
  .    .    .    .    .    .   Species P. kadiakensis, P. paludosus, P. antrorum, P. cummingi, P. pugio, P. texanus
  .    .    .    .    .   Genus Macrobrachium [details]
  .    .    .    .    .    .   Species M. ohione, M. acanthurus, M. carcinus, M. olfersii
  .    .    .    .    .   Genus Calathaemon [details]
  .    .    .    .    .    .   Species C. holthuisi [detail]
  .    .    .    .    .   Genus Exopalaemon [detail]
  .    .    .    .   Family Kakaducarididae [detail]
  .    .    .   Superfamily Atyoidea [details]
  .    .    .    .   Family Atyidae [details]
  .    .    .    .    .   Genus Palaemonias [details]
  .    .    .    .    .    .   Species P. alabamae, P. ganteri
  .    .    .    .    .   Genus Syncaris [details]
  .    .    .    .    .    .   Species S. pacifica, S. pasadenae
  .    .   infraorder Anomura (hermit crabs, etc.) [details]
  .    .    .   Superfamily Galatheoidea [details]
  .    .    .    .   Family Porcellanidae [details]
  .    .    .    .    .   Genus Petrolisthes [detail]
  .    .   infraorder Brachyura (crabs) [details]
  .    .    .   Section Eubrachyura [details]
  .    .    .    .   Section Heterotremata [details]
  .    .    .    .    .   Superfamily Portunoidea [details]
  .    .    .    .    .    .   Family Portunidae [details]
  .    .    .    .    .    .    .   Genus Callinectes [detail]
  .    .    .    .    .   Superfamily Potamoidea [details]
  .    .    .    .    .    .   Family Potamidae [details]
  .    .    .    .    .    .    .   Genus Geothelphusa [detail]
  .    .    .    .    .   Superfamily Pseudothelphusoidea [details]
  .    .    .    .    .    .   Family Pseudothelphusidae [detail]
  .    .    .    .    .   Superfamily Xanthoidea [details]
  .    .    .    .    .    .   Family Panopeidae [details]
  .    .    .    .    .    .    .   Genus Rhithropanopeus [detail]
  .    .    .    .   Section Thoracotremata [details]
  .    .    .    .    .   Superfamily Grapsoidea [details]
  .    .    .    .    .    .   Family Grapsidae [details]
  .    .    .    .    .    .    .   Genus Platychirograpsus [detail]
  .    .    .    .    .    .   Family Varunidae [details]
  .    .    .    .    .    .    .   Genus Eriocheir [detail]
  .    .    .    .    .    .   Family Gecarcinidae [detail]
  .   Suborder Dendrobranchiata (shrimp, prawns, etc.) [details]
  .    .   Superfamily Penaeoidea [details]
  .    .    .   Family Penaeidae [details]
  .    .    .    .   Genus Litopenaeus [detail]

Site managed by Daniel L. Graf @ University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point