Research Team Names New Crayfish
After 101st Airborne
The stream beds on the Tennessee side of Fort Campbell harbor a rare treasure, a rusty brown crayfish with white-tipped claws that exists nowhere else in the world.
Former Austin Peay State University graduate student Erin Bloom led the research that identified the crayfish as a new species. She and her teammates named the new species the Screaming Eagle Crayfish in honor of the troops of the 101stAirborne Division.
“That was probably one of the most overwhelming parts of this for me was trying to come up with a name,” Bloom, now a biology professor at Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin, said. “We knew we wanted to pay tribute to where the crayfish is found. Because the majority of them are found on Fort Campbell, we thought it would be perfect.”
Even the Screaming Eagle Crayfish’s scientific name salutes the 101st Airborne. Faxonius bellatorloosely translates to “crayfish warrior.”
Bloom’s research determined the crayfish lives in only three streams on post and one stream at Billy Dunlop Park in Clarksville, where it’s seemingly rare.She and her teammates – APSU biology graduate Brittany McCall, APSU biology professor and Center of Excellence for Field Biology Principle Investigator Dr. Rebecca Blanton Johansen and retired Eastern Kentucky University biology professor Guenter Schuster – published their work Jan. 7 in the Journal of Crustacean Biology. The APSU Center of Excellence for Field Biology supported the research.
“It’s not something you’d think you can do as an undergraduate, participating in research like this,” McCall said. “To pay homage to my hometown, and to my Fort Campbell family, is important to me. It feels good to give back in any way I can.”