What Is It?

  • My eggs look like berries.
  • My tail is their home.
  • My hatchlings stick close …
  • … till they’re ready to roam.

Crayfish usually mate in the fall, but the moms don’t “lay” eggs until spring. Then the eggs, which look like berries, appear in a sticky mass. They stick to the mother’s tiny, leglike swimmerets under her “tail” or abdomen. After hatching, the young keep hanging out on mom’s tail until they shed their skins twice. Then they start wandering away from mom, but they return to the safety of her tail if they feel threatened. Learn more at mdc.mo.gov/field-guide.

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