This is a medium-sized olive-green to reddish-tan crayfish with prominent black or brown rings around the fingers of its pincers near their tips. The pincers are often very broad and heavy (especially in males) with a broad gape between the fingers when they are closed. A dark band crosses the carapace near its junction with the abdomen. A pair of dark stripes run lengthwise along the abdomen near its lateral margins. No other crayfish within the range of this species has conspicuous black rings on the fingers. The Ozark crayfish (Orconectes ozarkae), often found in the same streams, is about the same size and build, but it has numerous dark specks on the abdomen and pincers.