Adult vernal crayfish are rust red with a blackish wedge-shaped central stripe along the length of the abdomen. The carapace is smooth and is separated at the middle by a narrow space (areola). The rostrum is broad and lacks a central troughlike depression and lacks lateral notches or spines near its tip. The pincers are moderately long and slender. Other similar crayfish within the range of the species are the red swamp crayfish and the White River crayfish. These species have a narrower rostrum (often with lateral spines) and a granular (roughened) carapace.