Species group: Freshwater Invertebrates
Other common names: Red Swamp Crawfish; Louisiana crawfish; Louisiana crayfish
Scientific name: Procambarus clarkii
The Red Swamp Crayfish is a freshwater crayfish species, native to the Southeastern United States, but found also on other continents, where it is often an invasive pest. The native range of Procambarus clarkii is along the Gulf Coast from northern Mexico to the Florida panhandle, as well as inland, to southern Illinois and Ohio. It has also been introduced, sometimes deliberately, outside its natural range to countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and elsewhere in the Americas. This cray is unlikely to be found for sale outside of the USA due to strict exportation laws on crayfish, and is in fact illegal to keep in several places outside the USA including the UK. These crayfish are also illegal in Washington State.
These Crayfish can be furiously territorial and aggressive to other Crayfish and any other inhabitants that don't get out of their way. A large tank is thus required and only compatible with species that will give it a wide berth. This species should not be kept with long finned fish or slow fish because those fish are easy targets for the crayfish. Do not mix with other species of crayfish. In addition multiple crayfish should only be kept together if they are roughly the same size otherwise the larger and more powerful crayfish will eat the smaller one.
It will eat sinking food pellets, soft vegetation, detritus and co-inhabitants. It can also eat bloodworms and frozen algae. Do not feed shrimp to this species of crayfish.