Oklahoma Cave Crayfish (Cambarus tartarus)

(State-listed as Endangered)


Oklahoma Cave CrayfishDescription: This is a small, colorless/white crayfish with a relatively slender body and thin pinchers and legs. It feeds on detritus – decaying organic material such as leaves.

Habitat: The Oklahoma Cave Crayfish occurs in subterranean pools, streams and passage ways associated with a shallow ground water aquifer and a few caves.

Current and Historic Distribution: This species is found only in the shallow groundwater aquifer underneath portions of the Spavinaw and Saline Creek watersheds in southern Delaware County. Within this range, it has been found in subterranean pools and streams in only three caves. Because of its subterranean habitat, the exact limits of its range are poorly known, but it is not known to occur in any other state or county. Its current distribution appears to be the same as its historic range.

Reasons for Decline: The Oklahoma Cave Crayfish is listed as an endangered species because its geographic range is extremely small and it is vulnerable to groundwater pollution or alteration in a relatively limited area.


County by County List of Endangered and Threatened Species

US Fish and Wildlife Endangered Species Lists