Relationship between Devil Crayfish (Cambarus diogenes) and Hine’s Emerald Dragonfly (Somatochlora hineana) Larvae


Daniel A. Soluk

University of South Dakota




Crayfish -angel or devil?

Hine’s emerald larvae live in a delicate yet essential relationship with the Devil Crayfish (Cambarus diogenes). This crayfish digs complex burrow systems that may extend more than 2 meters deep into the ground.  Hine’s emerald larvae go down into devil crayfish burrows to survive drought and winter freezing.  We have found up to 100 larvae in a single burrow in Illinois.


These burrows are not necessarily safe places to live, for crayfish will eat Hine’s emerald larvae if they have the chance! We call this “Living with the Enemy”. How larvae avoid being eaten on a regular basis is part of our ongoing research.