Devil Crayfish

Cambarus diogenes
Cambaridae (freshwater crayfish) in the order Decapoda (shrimp, crabs, and lobsters)

This powerfully built crayfish is usually a uniform olive or tan, without obvious blotches or spots. Occasional individuals are blue, with yellowish stripes on the abdomen and bright red outlining many body parts. Another burrowing species, the prairie crayfish (Procambarus gracilis), superficially resembles the devil crayfish. However, adults of the prairie crayfish are often bright red. In males the tips of the reproductive structures (gonopods) are strongly curved in the devil crayfish, nearly straight in the prairie crayfish.

Adult length: about 3 1/4 to 4 1/2 inches.
Habitat and conservation: 
It lives in burrows in timbered or formerly timbered areas along the floodplains of streams and along ditches. Its presence is often revealed by conspicuous mud chimneys. In early spring, young and some adults occur in roadside pools and other temporary waters.
Distribution in Missouri: 
The devil crayfish is perhaps our most widely distributed crayfish, occurring over all except the west-central part of the state. Statewide, but apparently absent from the southwestern Ozarks.
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