Anyone who lives in Kentucky has probably seen the volcano mounds of dirt that are created by crayfish. Crayfish are also called crawdads and crawfish, and belong to the order Decapoda. Crayfish are found in lakes, caves, streams, rivers, wetlands, and other freshwater habitats throughout Kentucky. There are over 50 species of crayfish found in Kentucky.
A little known fact about crayfish is that they can produce sound in and out of the water. Crayfish produce sounds through their scaphognathite, which is a thin appendage that draws water through the gill cavity. They move the scaphognathite and produce sound and air bubbles. They will produce a series of pulse trains that is believed to signal an individual’s presence to other crayfish. It is also believed that they produce sounds to alert other crayfish to predators, or to attract a second predator to prey upon the predator. You can listen to their sounds below.
If you haven’t seen any in the wild, be sure to stop by Bernheim’s Education Center, where you can try to spot ours inside the aquarium.