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white river crayfish

white river crayfish (Procambarus acutus)
Photo © Illinois Department of Natural Resources

Features and Behaviors

The white river crayfish has long, narrow claws. It is pink-brown to dark red on its back. Large individuals are dark red with a black rectangle on each abdominal segment.

This crayfish lives in the deep water of swamps, sloughs and sluggish streams. It prefers areas with abundant vegetation. A burrow may be constructed to live in when water bodies reach low levels. A burrow may also be used in the winter or by a female when carrying eggs or young. This crayfish feeds on vegetation.

Illinois Range


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

Illinois Status: common, native