Crabs? This is SPARTAAA!"
April 1, 2007 9:39 PM   Subscribe

On a visit to a park lake in mid-southern Illinois today, I encountered many little muddy burrows in the ground, ranging from one to two inches across. I spotted little digging crab claws in one of the more freshly-muddied holes; others looked less recently dug. My search skills fail me as to what these critters could be. The lake was fed by a small stream, and the town (Sparta, IL) is a bit less than 20 miles from the Mississippi.
posted by luftmensch to Science & Nature (9 answers total)
crayfish. aka crawdads
posted by cosmicbandito at 9:46 PM on April 1, 2007

Best answer: Here are some nice photos. Think of them as small, freshwater lobsters.
posted by cosmicbandito at 8:55 PM on April 1, 2007

Seconding Crawdads - they're all over little creeks and ponds in the Midwest/South.
posted by plaidrabbit at 8:56 PM on April 1, 2007

Definitely crawdads.
posted by rlef98 at 9:06 PM on April 1, 2007

Response by poster: Durr. I have no idea why that didn't cross my mind; it's obvious but I was convinced they were some crab things since I couldn't see a body.
posted by luftmensch at 9:15 PM on April 1, 2007

BTW: Crawfish (crawdads, crawdaddies, crayfish, mudbugs) are delicious when prepared the Cajun way. Check out Louisiana-Mississippi style recipes on crawfish etoufee, gumbo and the like. If you're allowed to catch 'em (the mudbugs) and feel adventurous, serve up a batch to your beloveds. Oh, and don't feel you have to suck the innards out. (Ick! I still can't do that, and I've been eating crawfish for years.) A little reading about how to "properly" eat crawdads will ease your unease, if you're squeamish about eating things you have caught.
posted by Smalltown Girl at 9:32 PM on April 1, 2007

They're not bad either prepared with dill for a traditional Swedish crayfish party. A little drinking, a little singing, a little more drinking... a lot more drinking.
posted by three blind mice at 10:55 PM on April 1, 2007

Ooh yeah baybee... dem dere is some mudbugs!
aka crawdads/crayfish. Great eatin'!

posted by miss lynnster at 11:17 PM on April 1, 2007

Crawfish aka mudbugs are in season down in Louisiana, so why don't you order yourself some, and fix 'em Cajun style

/welcome to AskMe, smalltown girl!
posted by Mr. Gunn at 7:00 AM on April 2, 2007

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