A global review of life history studies on burrowing crayfish

In: Crustaceana
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  • 1 University of Illinois Urbana — Champaign, W-503 Turner Hall, 1102 South Goodwin Ave, Urbana, IL 61801, U.S.A.
  • | 2 Missouri Department of Conservation, 3500 E Gans Road, Columbia, MO 65201, U.S.A.
  • | 3 Illinois Natural History Survey, Prairie Research Institute, 1816 S. Oak Street, Champaign, Illinois 61820, U.S.A.
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Burrowing crayfishes have historically lacked life history data due to their elusive nature and difficultly extracting them from burrows. This review provides a synopsis of current literature on burrowing crayfishes’ life histories and a quantitative analysis of published life history content. Only 69 publications covering 94 burrowing species (approx. 39%) met our criteria for a life history study. Many species had only partial life histories documented and two genera (Engaewa and Tenuibranchiurus) had no life history studies available. Size and reproductive season were the most recorded traits across studies while others such as mortality and age/size at molting events were rarely recorded. Reproductive investment, an important predictor of imperilment, was lacking in 87% of burrowing species. Our review emphasizes the need to include life history data with new species descriptions and conduct basic life history studies to effectively assess data-deficient species and protect the future of our threatened burrowing crayfishes.

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