Common Name: Devil Crayfish

Scientific Name: Cambarus diogenes

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Arthropoda

Class: Crustacea

Order: Decapoda

Family: Cambaridae

Genus: Cambarus

Species: C. diogenes

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What does the Devil Crayfish look like? the Devil Crayfish has a carapace vaulted body shape. The Devil Crayfish has spines, rostrum, areola, and a chelae. The Devil Crayfish has a coloration of reddish-brown, gray, and bright pastel shades of red and blue. One of their adaptations is the gills that are located underneath the body of the crayfish. In order to identify a Devil Crayfish is that it looks exactly like a miniature lobster. The Devil Crayfish is primarily found in freshwater habitats. They live in burrows with a cone shaped mud chimney at the entrance. The burrows can be up to 3 feet in the length if needed to reach the water. The Devil Crayfish does well in this ecosystem because of there small size. This is helpful for escaping predators. They are found in North America, Europe, and Australia.

 

The population of the Devil Crayfish is shrinking. It is shrinking due to insecticide use, urbanization, and a decrease of woodland areas with wetlands. When the Devil Crayfish population is shrinking the variety of other animals will also. The current population is unknown at the time for the Devil Crayfish. A Devil Crayfish plays an important role in the function of an ecosystem. They eat mainly aquatic plants, insects, snails, small fish, epiphyte, and other aquatic creatures. They also consume dead animals and plant material, that is why they will also be called scavengers. They eat and forge for food at night mainly to avoid being attacked by predators. The predators and surrounding environment allow them to compete for food.

 

Some animals that they have to compete with are other crayfish, crabs, and fish. Who eats the Devil Crayfish? The Devil Crayfish serves as a food source to many animals. Such animals are game fish, otters, other mammals, birds, reptiles, raccoons, mink, and Great Blue Herons. Fish consume two-thirds of there Population. How does a Devil Crayfish evade being eaten? they escape by doing a tail-flip response. A tail-flip response is a rapid flip of tail segments, sending them quickly in the opposite direction. Once this is used it sends a kind of signal to other nearby crayfish to do the same thing.

 

Author: Miranda S.

Date Published: 02/2008

 

Sources: wikipedia Biokids.com naturewatch.com dnr.state.md.us/wildlife/devil crayfish.html

 

Photo Credit: Conservation Commission of Missouri http://mdc.mo.gov/nathis/arthopo/crayfish/varcraw.htm