Cambarellus chihuahuae Hobbs, 1980

Chihuahua dwarf crayfish



Taxonomy & Nomenclature



Conservation Status

Last record: 1979 or later

Rediscovered in September 2012

IUCN RedList status: Extinct


Cambarellus chihuahuae was known from several springs within a 3km radius, before those water sources were pumped dry for agricultural use. This lead to the putative extinction of the species; as the only known potential pond left during a 2009 survey contained no signs of crayfish, despite a relatively extensive survey of the area. However, the species was rediscovered at the same locality during a survey not looking for the species in 2012 (Carson et al. 2015).

Between 1978 and 1979 a total of at least 160 specimens of this species were collected from its habitat and are now in the USNM's invertebrate collection (see 'Hypodigm' below). This seems an exceptionally excessive amount by any standard, and especially so given the very restricted area of occurrence (all known springs were within a 3km radius). In addition (Fetzner, 2004) mentions that paratypes are also in the collections of two other institutions (i.e. the BMNH and RNHL).



Ojo de Carbonera spring, Chihuahua State, México


Biology & Ecology




Holotype: USNM 148895 (1 specimen, male)

Type locality: "Ojo Carbonero, 2.7 Mile Mile W Of Villa Ahumada"


Allotype: USNM 148896 (1 specimen, female)

Paratype (Morphotype?): USNM 148897 (1 specimen, male)

Paratype: USNM 148898 (41 specimens; 26 male, 15x female)

Paratype: USNM 148899 (42 specimens; 26x male, 16x female)

Paratype: USNM 148900 (40 specimens; 25x male, 15x female)

Paratype: USNM 176528 (4 specimens; 3x male, 1x female)

Paratype: USNM 176529 (16 specimens; 9x male, 7x female)

Paratype: USNM 176530 (1 specimen, female)

Paratype: USNM 176531 (13 specimens; 6x male, 7x female)

For precise details of collection and preservation search "Cambarellus chihuahuae" at:


Fetzner (2004) states that there are also paratypes in the BMNH and RNHL collections as well, though the exact number is not mentioned.






Original scientific description:

Hobbs, Horton H. Jr. (1980). New dwarf crayfishes (Decapoda: Cambaridae) from Mexico and Florida. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 93(1): 194-207, 2 figures


Other references:

Alvarez, F., López-Mejía, M. and Pedraza Lara, C. (2010). Cambarellus chihuahuae. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T153621A4521607. Downloaded on 13 October 2015.

Alvarez, Fernando and Villalobos, José Luis. (2015). The crayfish of Middle America, pp. 448-463. In: Kawai, Tadashi, Faulkes, Zen and Scholtz, Gerhard (eds.). Freshwater Crayfish: A Global Overview. Boca Raton: CRC Press.

Carson, Evan W. et al. (2015). The rediscovery and precarious status of the Chihuahua dwarf crayfish Cambarellus chihuahuae. Occasional Papers of the Museum of Southwestern Biology 12: 1-7.

Echelle, A. A., Echelle, A. F., Balderas, S. C. and Vilano, M. L. L. (2003). Pupfishes of the northern Chihuahuan Desert: status and conservation. Museum of Texas Tech University Special Publications 46: 110-126.

Fetzner, Dr. James W. Jr. (2004). Factsheet: Cambarellus chihuahuae on The Crayfish & Lobster Taxonomy Browser, Carnegie Museum of Natural History ( Accessed: 24 April 2011.


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