Blue Land Crayfish in my Meadow
I thought that seeing a camel in a pasture up the road was unusual, but this one beats all. I saw the cat toying over something in the weeds, and when I rushed to the rescue of some unfortunate creature, I was shocked to see two blue claws flailing around in a show of power. It was definitely some kind of crawfish, but the closest water is 200 yards down through the woods.
I carefully grabbed the little guy behind his head, and brought him to the porch where I could photograph him. The blue color was incredible, and he would raise those claws whenever I got too close. He was about 3 1/2 inches long, and very shiney.
I returned him to the spot I had found him, and when I returned five minutes later, he was gone. I Googled “land crawfish north carolina mountains”, and there he was. He is a land dwelling crawfish known as a Blue Mountain Mudbug by locals. They live in burrows and feed on earthworms and grubs, and anything else they can find as they graze through the weeds. I wrote to the head of crustaceans in the state natural resources department, and a swift response confirmed the Latin name, and also confirmed that others had been documented in Rutherford County where I live.