We think this may be the first crustacean to grace What’s Buzzin’; thank you to Brenna for risking a pinch to capture this photo! The Signal Crayfish is native to the western United States and is just one of almost 400 species of crayfish in North America. Generally, crayfish live in freshwater and tend to be smaller, while lobsters live in saltwater and tend to be larger. This species is large (up to six inches), bluish-brown to reddish-brown in color and sports a white to pale blue-green patch near the claw hinge. Like all crayfish species, it is a solitary omnivore. It searches out anything from decaying roots and leaves to meat, including crayfish smaller than themselves. While most active at night, you may disturb one hiding under large cobbles, woody debris or in a burrow. Reportedly, they migrate up and down rivers, as well as moving overland around obstacles.
Photo by Brenna Shea on 9/6/20 on the Blackfoot River near Bonner, MT