White River Crayfish

Procambarus acutus
Cambaridae (freshwater crayfish) in the order Decapoda (shrimp, crabs, and lobsters)

Adults of this species are usually a deep burgundy red with a black V-shaped stripe on the abdomen. Juveniles are gray with dark spots scattered over the carapace. The pincers are long and narrow. The carapace is separated at its middle by a space (areola). The carapace is conspicuously granular (roughened) in adults. The White River crayfish resembles the red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii). The latter species differs most notably in lacking an areola. Young of the red swamp crayfish are usually plain or striped, not spotted.

Adult length: about 2 1/2 to 4 inches.
Habitat and conservation: 
Inhabits sloughs, swamps and sluggish lowland streams and ditches. Also found in natural lakes along the floodplains of streams. It frequently burrows to escape drying or freezing.
Distribution in Missouri: 
This crayfish occurs commonly in the lowlands of southeastern Missouri, and northward along the floodplain of the Mississippi River to Clark County, although it has recently been introduced into several locations to the west.
A common, widespread crayfish whose range extends along the Atlantic coast from Maine to Georgia, along the Gulf Coast from the Florida panhandle to Mexico, and north in the central Mississippi Valley and in the southern Great Lakes from Minnesota to Ohio.
Human connections: 
This species is used as food and as bait in Louisiana and probably in some other states, and it probably has some potential for use in aquaculture in Missouri.
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