💥 New species alert!💥

Meet Cambarus ectopistes, the Cataloochee Crayfish, which as of this weekend became the newest addition to North Carolina and Tennessee's named crayfish fauna. Described by me & Dr. Zachary Loughman (@westlibertyu) this species represents sooo much. 1/7
The species epithet 'ectopistes' may seem familiar; it's the genus of the extinct passenger pigeon. We chose this name for two reasons: 1. one of the 3 disjunct populations of C. ectopistes occurs in the Pigeon River (PR), which was a major flyway for the passenger pigeon. 2/7
and 2. we wanted to emphasize the need for broader education about the conservation concerns and needs of crayfishes in general. DYK, despite the critical role crayfishes play in aquatic ecosystems, they are one the most imperiled groups of freshwater organisms? 3/7
Zac & I both became aware of the then-known "Cataloochee morph" in the early 2010s while each of us was independently working on @Discovrlife #SmokiesATBI surveys in @GreatSmokyNPS (Zac = crayfish, me = branchiobdellidans aka crayfish worms). 4/7
But we weren't the first to take note of this large stream-dweller. Nearly 30 years ago, both the late John E. Cooper & Roger Thoma had identified the crayfish as a putative unique species restricted to Cataloochee Creek (image) and neighboring tribs of the Pigeon River. 5/7
Using an integrative approach based on extensive sampling & museum collections combining morphology w/ genetics, behavior, ecology, biogeography & color pattern, Zac & I were able to formally describe the species -> a CRITICAL 1st step in conservation #CollectionsAreEssential 6/7
Of course the story doesn't end here. Our work in collaboration with @NCWildlife is ongoing. Spoiler alert: our state of knowledge of crayfish species in North Carolina is going to change. Rapidly. And this is an amazing thing for effective management and #conservation. 7/7
Where's the description published? In Zootaxa, behind a paywall, of course. Please reach out if you are interested in a copy.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Dr. Bronwyn W. Williams

Dr. Bronwyn W. Williams Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal

Or Donate anonymously using crypto!


0xfe58350B80634f60Fa6Dc149a72b4DFbc17D341E copy


3ATGMxNzCUFzxpMCHL5sWSt4DVtS8UqXpi copy

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!