These crayfish chimneys were found off Wolf Springs Road in far southeast Dallas County. That’s the Trinity River bottoms in the far background.

The chimney builders in this case are Southern Plains Crayfish. Crayfish build these structures as they burrow in response to drying conditions. The chimneys are created as the crayfish bring loads of mud from inside the burrows and deposit them at the entrance.

The burrows can be quite deep—maybe as long as to 6ft/2m . They are typically excavated down to the water table in order to keep the lower chamber filled with the water the crayfish needs to survive.

Crayfish breath through gills, so they require moisture for respiration. They are, however, able to leave their burrows on occasions when the conditions are just right. These condition mostly occur at night, during cool weather and/or after a rain shower.

Observations Details

DateAug 26, 2012
Time of DayAfternoon
TemperatureWarm (70-89°F/21-32°C)
Type of BehaviorDigging
ObserverChris Jackson

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