Gray-Speckled Crayfish

Orconectes palmeri
Cambaridae (freshwater crayfish) in the order Decapoda (shrimp, crabs, and lobsters)

This crayfish is gray with numerous greenish-black speckles and blotches on the pincers, carapace and abdomen. A pair of large blotches are present near the back of the head, and another pair occur near the junction of the carapace and abdomen. The fingers often have conspicuous cream-yellow tips. The carapace is not separated at its middle by a space (areola). The gray-speckled crayfish is the only common Orconectes in the southeastern lowlands. Other typical crayfish of the region have longer, more slender pincers, and none have the pattern of dark paired blotches described above.

Adult length: about 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches.
Habitat and conservation: 
It is restricted to permanent-flowing waters in ditches and streams, occurring among tree roots and organic debris, and beneath roots.
Distribution in Missouri: 
This crayfish occurs widely in the Lowlands of southeastern Missouri and penetrates into adjacent sections of the Ozarks along the major streams.
Shortened URL