Posted by: Loren Coleman on June 30th, 2008
In 2005, a new species of crayfish, Cambarus (Tubericambarus) polychromatus (the painted-hand mudbug) was described by Roger Thoma, Raymond Jezerinac and Thomas Simon in volume 118 issue 2 of the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington.
Specifically, the cited journal article is: Thoma R.F., Jezerinac, R.F., and Simon, T. P. 2005. “Cambarus (Tubericambarus) polychromatus (Decapoda: Cambaridae), a new species of crayfish from the United States. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 118(2):326-336.
Now, this new species has been identified from southern Illinois, according to the US Forest Service’s Mike Welker on June 30, 2008:
The Cambarus polychromatus, commonly known as the painted-hand mudbug, was recently identified on the Shawnee National Forest. This crawfish had never been documented on the Forest until it was found in two widely separated locations, Dog Creek in Pope County and a tributary to Cedar Lake in Jackson County.
Melissa Mead, Student Career Employment Program (SCEP) ecologist on the Forest, developed a sampling protocol for crayfish and began surveying in 2007. Crayfish are extremely difficult to identify in the field, therefore, Melissa entered into a partnership agreement with the Illinois Natural History Survey and the University of Illinois to identify species that are collected on the Forest. Under this agreement, Melissa has been working with the Illinois Natural History Survey to better document the locations of crayfish across the Forest.
Melissa [Mead]‘s most recent survey effort yielded the discovery of this species of crayfish. The painted-hand mudbug was first recognized by researchers as a new species of crayfish in 2005. The painted-hand mudbug is not rare and is widely distributed throughout Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky, Tennessee and Illinois. However, the identification of these specimens has documented the painted-hand mudbug for the first time on the Shawnee National Forest.