Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Crawfish of Missouri - Ozark Crayfish

Ozark Crayfish-Orconectes ozarkae Williams

image of Ozark Crayfishimage of Ozark Crayfish distributionThis is a rather plain, light brown to reddish-brown crayfish with numerous black specks on the pincers and often on the abdomen as well. The pincers are broad and powerful. Adults are about 1 to 3.4 inches in length.

The Ozark crayfish occurs widely on the southern Ozarks, from Rosaring River and Flat Creek in Barry County eastward to the Little Black River in Ripley County. It seems to be absent from the North Fork and Bryant Creek.

Common, superficially similar species within the range of this crayfish are the golden crayfish and the ringed crayfish. Both of these species lack conspicuous blackish specks on the pinchers and abdomen, and the ringed crayfish has prominent brown or black rings on the fingers near their tips.

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