This species is quite variable in color. 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 (the groove on the carapace separating the head and thorax), and another crosses the carapace at its junction with the abdomen. The tips of the fingers are red, sometimes bordered 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, mottling, or spots.
Color variations generally correspond with locality. Olive specimens trimmed with bright red are common in the Meremec and Niangua drainages; rich orange-brown specimens trimmed with a subdued orange are common in the Current River; Northeast Missouri specimens typically have a black band behind the reddish tips of the pincers. Some of these populations may represent different species.