Cambarus dubius


Research status

Currently our group has obtained one grant from Virginia to research the distribution, ecology, and taxonomy of C. dubius in the state. A total of 35 counties west of the Blue Ridge will be sampled (see map below).

The potential distribution of C. dubius in Virginia by county. Red = known populations present, salmon = high potential presence, yellow = low potential presence.

Field work on this grant will begin this summer. Genetic analysis will be conducted by Dr. Fetzner in FY11-12.

Cambarus dubius, the upland burrowing crayfish, is one of the most interesting crayfish species in North America. It has long been considered a species complex. Numerous morphs exist, mostly defined by coloration, though body type differences can be found.  The colors displayed by this complex are wide ranging and one is tempted to call them the warblers of the crayfish world.

Several students have begun studies of the group but none have yet resolved the complex or published on it. To this end, we convened a work group to push forward the understanding of C. dubius. The group is composed of those individuals with the greatest familiarity with the species. Members are Guenter Schuster, Zac Loughman, Whitney Stocker, James Fetzner, and Roger Thoma.

To date, our group has obtained 1 grant from VDGIF for 2 years study within Virginia. Year 1 will be spent conducting field work in 35 western counties of VA. Year 2 will be devoted to genetic analysis of the tissue samples collected.

Cambarus dubius pages


Photo gallery




Cumberland Plateua form of C. dubius, Morgan County, Tennessee. Photo by Zac Loughman