Golden Crayfish

Orconectes luteus
Cambaridae (freshwater crayfish) in the order Decapoda (shrimp, crabs, and lobsters)

This wide-ranging species is quite variable in color, but it is typically olive-green suffused with golden yellow. The antennae and many body parts are trimmed with bright red. A dark band crosses the head just in front of the cervical groove, and another crosses the carapace at its junction with the abdomen. The tips of the fingers are red, bordered in some populations by conspicuous black bands. This crayfish is distinguished from most other crayfish within its range by its olive-green and red coloration without conspicuous blotches or spots.

Adult length: about 1 to 3 1/2 inches.
Habitat and conservation: 
It lives in streams with permanent flow, in swift water and in riffles over rocky bottoms and in beds of emergent aquatic plants.
Distribution in Missouri: 
Almost statewide. The golden crayfish is one of the most abundant and widely distributed crayfish in our state, occurring throughout the northern Ozarks, in the Current River and in prairie streams of northeastern Missouri.
One of the most common crayfish species over much of the Ozarks, but it is absent from the Black, Eleven Point, White and Neosho stream drainages.
Shortened URL