Astacology: an interesting and relatively unknown field of ecology focused on the study of crayfish. My research has centered on burrowing crayfish—a subset of crayfish species that spend most of their lives underground in burrows. Consequently, these species are incredibly difficult to sample, and we are left with huge knowledge gaps on their distributions and natural history. During March and April of 2022, I drove over 10,000 miles across Missouri, Kentucky, and Arkansas sampling for burrowing crayfish to broaden our understanding of their habitat requirements and document their distributions. These specimens are vouchered in the Illinois Natural History Survey Crustacean Collection, where we have nearly 15,000 specimens from across the United States. Upon discovery, this feisty ‘painted devil’ crayfish threw its claws in the air in a classic defense posture. Although it is mostly amusing to be so aggressively challenged by a tiny 3-inch invertebrate, I did relent and left this female alone in hopes that she will pass on her beautiful pattern and feisty nature to the next generation of crayfish.