ASHEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — North Carolina is now home to the Stony Fork and Falls crayfish, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences announced Thursday.
It said both crayfish, part of the crustacean family similar to lobsters, were found in “neighboring streams…off the Blue Ridge Mountains.”
The museum said the Stoney Fork crayfish, scientifically named Cambarus lapidosus, is “named after a small tributary of the Yadkin River in western North Carolina that harbors the entire known range of this species.”
Secondly, the Falls crayfish, scientifically named Cambarus burchfielae, got its name because it “represents the locality from which the type series (or name-bearing specimens) were collected.”
According to a research curator, these crayfish can only be found in the upper Yadkin River basin of North Carolina.
“They are both considered narrow-range endemics, meaning they are highly restricted in their geographic ranges and thus acclimated to specific environmental conditions,” Bronwyn Williams, the research curator, said.
They continued, “Taxonomy is essential to effective conservation. If a unique biological entity does not have a formal name, it is not eligible for the resources necessary to manage and protect it. From what we can tell, these particular stream captures have not previously been documented either geologically or biologically.”