A Second Look

We really enjoyed Parkhill Prairie! So much that we decided to go back the next day.

A moss caught my eye. Mosses are just not on trees in the woods. You can find them among the grasses too!
It was pretty!

A close up!
Milkweeds (Asclepias) were getting ready for the season!
Ten-petal Anemone (Anemone belandieri) sporting a fluffy hat. 😉
The annual Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja indivisa) was there too!

Through the prairie is beautiful, it still has invasives like this Common Star-of-Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum). Shirley always called it Star of Jerusalem or Jerusalem Star. This is the reason for scientific names, eh. 🙂
Claire took this lovely shot of the Lemon Paintbrush (Castilleja citrina)!
In 1991, a new prairie obligate species was named, the Parkhill Prairie crayfish (Procambarus steigmani). It was named after Dr. Ken Steigman, the discoverer. See Suzanne comment and link in the Adventure 7 post. However the mounds/chimneys/turrets at Parkhill Prairie may not be all P. steigmani. There are other burrowing prairie craydads (as I like to call them). In fact, the original paper mentioned P. curdi as another species found there. So if you would like to read the paper it can be read here. Also you might find helpful Crayfish External Anatomy.

After reading the paper, I found that the hole could have been made by the Parkhill Prairie crayfish. It measures about 6 inches not including the claws. P. curdi size is slightly smaller but not by much. So P. curdi was another possibility for the chimney.

Indeed definitely worth a second look!

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Keep looking!

The more you know, the more you see and the more you see, the more you know


  1. The first time i saw a crayfish on the prairie i couldn’t believe it. Didnt know they dug such deep tunnels. Really cool

  2. Thanks for doing the additional research on P. steigmani! I’d never seen the original description paper. It looks like it hasn’t been determined yet if it’s a synonym of P. regalis.

    1. I bet it could use some modern methods that are much cheaper and easier to use now, like DNA or something. I guess it is not a hot topic to any researchers right now. So much to do and not enough time or researchers.

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