Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Crawfish of Missouri - Long Pincered Crayfish

Long Pincered Crayfish-Orconectes longidigitus (Faxon)

image of Long Pincered crayfishimage of Long Pincered  Crayfish distributionThis large, colorful crayfish is characterized by very long, slender blue-green pincers that are studded with prominent yellowish knobs. The carapace and abdomen are olive-tan trimmed with bright red. This is our largest native crayfish, with adults achieving a length of 6 inches or more. It reaches maturity at a length of about 3.5 inches.

The longpincered crayfish occurs only in the White River basin of southern Missouri and northern Arkansas. It lives in the pools of Ozark streams along bluffs where large slabs of rock provide numerous crevices in which it spends the daylight hours. At night it emerges to forage over the stream bottom. Substantial populations of this species also occur in Table Rock Lake

The long, blue-green pincers and large size distinguish this crayfish from other species within its range. The superficially similar spothanded crayfish has a conspicuous spot on each pincer at the base of the movable finger.

(Courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation).

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