Freckled Crayfish

Cambarus maculatus
Cambaridae (freshwater crayfish) in the order Decapoda (shrimp, crabs, and lobsters)

This powerfully built, yellowish-tan crayfish has numerous conspicuous black spots on its pincers, carapace and abdomen. The freckled crayfish is distinguished from all other species within its range by the pattern of conspicuous black spots over the entire dorsal surface.

Adult length: about 2 to 3 1/4 inches.
Habitat and conservation: 
The freckled crayfish lives in the very clear, high-gradient, spring-fed streams and small rivers of the Meramec Basin. Rarely seen in the open, it digs burrows in gravel beneath large rocks and stays there, probably emerging at night to feed. Where it occurs, it is not as abundant as the other crayfish that live in the same streams.
Distribution in Missouri: 
This crayfish occurs only in the Meramec River basin of the Missouri Ozarks, especially the eastern and central areas of the basin, the Courtois Hills.
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