This was the best photo I could get of this crayfish in the stream, and therefore have no idea what kind it is. Maybe it’s an Appalachian Brook Crayfish?
I did find out that Virginia is host to 34 native species of crayfish. As a kid I remember finding them in the stream in our backyard. They always gave me the heebeegeebees!
And who knew that crayfish are possessed of an extraordinary sense of smell. It is estimated that 40% of their brain is devoted to the sense of smell, as opposed to less than 1% of a human’s. By flicking their antennules (the small, paired sets of miniature antennae between the larger pair) constantly, they are able to detect both chemical cues and motion in their environment that could indicate food, a mate, or a predator. From Mountain Lake Biological Research Station
Alternate Names: Crawfish, Crawdad, Mudbugs