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digger crayfish

digger crayfish (Creaserinus fodiens)
Photo by MDC Staff, courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation

Features and Behaviors

The digger crayfish has large claws. Its back is often olive-brown with dark brown blotches but may be light brown or rust-red.

The digger crayfish lives on wooded floodplains and in places where there were once wooded floodplains. Creaserinus fodiens is a burrowing species and is found in surface waters only during floods. The burrows are frequently marked with mudball chimneys and may have up to three entrances. Burrows may be several feet deep. Females with eggs (average number about 130) have been found in early spring. Eggs hatch a few weeks later. This species is an omnivore, eating both plant and animal materials.

Illinois Range


​Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Malacostraca
Order: Decapoda
Family: Cambaridae

Illinois Status: common, native