Queen snakes live in streams with moderate to fast currents and rocky bottoms. They eat crayfish such as the one pictured here.
The virile crayfish lives in rocky streams with a moderate current. Sometimes it digs burrows along the bank, but usually hides under flat stones in the river.
Eggs and newly hatched young remain attached under the female's tail. Young crayfish leave their mother after about 15 days and can live for 3 years.
The virile crayfish is the most common crayfish species in Illinois and can be very abundant in certain streams. It is an important food for many mammals, birds, and fish. Native Americans and early settlers ate this tasty crustacean too.
If you look closely on the log above the crayfish, you will see a hellgrammites, which is the larvae of the dobson fly (Corydalus cornutus). They spend most of their lives (2-3 years) as a larva underwater.