Thursday, August 12, 2010

That crawfish claws can be....

BLUE! Of course I was just biking along the Boulder Creek trail this evening and stopped to have a chat with my son, Remi about the world and his relationship thus far with it.... and all of a sudden... a GIGANTIC blue crayfish wooshed past. I said to Remi, "Did you see that?" I unbuckled my shoes and jumped in, carefully stuck my and the creek, and attempted to grab the bugger. I had a little girlish moment, but as I am MOM, I had to try to catch it. In the end, about 4 minutes later, and amassing a small group on the side of the creek, I resurrected a 6 inch crayfish with bright blue 3.5 cm claws and a light blue under belly. (ps, I used sticks.) I did end up picking him up once I flung him to dry land, showed it to Remi and found a nice release spot. Fun.

I googled crayfish and Boulder Creek and found this old PDF article. This is just a bit of text from it. Enjoy!

University of Illinois
It is possible to assign certain species quite definitely to
some type of habitat. The burrowing species obviously have a
great advantage over the other forms in the matter of distribu-
tion as they are able to occupy territory which is not available
for others, except at certain seasons. C. diogenes Girard is the
most widely distributed species of the genus, occurring in
Boulder Co., Colorado at the foot of the Rocky Mountains
and in southeastern Wyoming, in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and
Michigan; in New Jersey, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia,
North and South Carolina; and in Mississippi and southern
Louisiana. C. carolinus long known from only the Appalachian
region of Virginia is now known to occur in northeastern
Indian Territory, Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Among the species that appear to be confined to mountain
streams may be mentioned C. bartonii Fabricius (common in
West Virginia), C. longulus (also found in West Virginia),
C. extraneus, C. spinosus, C. acuminatus and C. forceps. It is
interesting to note the range in altitude as well as in longitude
and latitude. C. diogenes Girard has been reported from
Boulder County, Colorado and also southern Louisiana. I have
observed a blue phase of C. carolinus dubius Faxon at an
elevation of approximately 4500 feet at Spruce Knob, West
Virginia, and also 2400 feet near Cass, West Virginia.

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