Ringed Crayfish

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

This is a medium-sized olive-green to reddish-tan crayfish with prominent black or brown rings around the fingers of its pincers near their tips. The pincers are often very broad and heavy (especially in males) with a broad gape between the fingers when they are closed. A dark band crosses the carapace near its junction with the abdomen. A pair of dark stripes run lengthwise along the abdomen near its lateral margins. No other crayfish within the range of this species has conspicuous black rings on the fingers. The Ozark crayfish (Orconectes ozarkae), often found in the same streams, is about the same size and build, but it has numerous dark specks on the abdomen and pincers.

Adult length: about 1 1/2 to 3 1/2 inches.
Habitat and conservation: 
Occurs in clear, rocky, permanent-flowing streams ranging in size from small creeks to large rivers. It occurs in rocky riffles and shallow pools having sufficient current to keep the bottom largely free of silt. This crayfish burrows in gravel beneath large rocks.
Forages at night on algae and detritus.
Distribution in Missouri: 
Southwestern Ozark region of Missouri, from the North Fork of the White River in Howell County westward through the White and Spring (Neosho) River basins.
Where it occurs, it is the most abundant crayfish. Two subspecies are recognized: O. n. neglectus (the ringed crayfish) in the Neosho River basin, and O. n. chaenodactylus (the gap-ringed crayfish) in the White River basin.
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