A rather large crayfish, usually lacking dark specks or mottling on pincers or abdomen, but with yellowish knobs or tubercles on the margins of the pincers. In populations that have it, a noticeable black spot on each pincer near the base of the moveable finger identifies this species. The carapace has an areola (hourglass-shaped area on the midline).
Coloration varies a lot with this species, depending on location. In the Current, Gasconade, and White river drainages, the carapace is reddish brown to olive, with a dark saddle mark where it joins the abdomen; pincers are greenish and have the characteristic black spot on the finger. The abdomen is olive, with bright red outlining the segment edges. Elsewhere, the coloration is different, and the “hand spot” may not be present. (See “status” below.)