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crayfish, also called crawfish or crawdad, any type of of numerous crustaceans (order Decapoda, phylum Arthropoda) constituting the family members Astacidae (Northern Hemisphere), Parastacidae, and also Austroastracidae (Southern Hemisphere). They are very closely related come the lobster. Over fifty percent of the more than 500 types occur in north America. Practically all live in new water, return a few species take place in brackish water or salt water.

Crayfish are characterized by a joined head and thorax, or midsection, and also a segmented body, which is sandy yellow, green, red, or dark brown in colour. The head has actually a sharp snout, and the link eyes room on movable stalks. The exoskeleton, or human body covering, is thin however tough. The former pair of the 5 pairs the legs have large, an effective pincers (chelae). Over there are 5 pairs of smaller sized appendages on the abdomen, used greatly for swimming and circulating water because that respiration.

Most adult crayfish are about 7.5 cm (3 inches) long. Amongst the the smallest is the 2.5-cm-long Cambarellus diminutus the the southeastern joined States. Amongst the biggest is Astacopsis gouldi of Tasmania, which may reach 40 centimeter in length and weigh around 3.5 kg (8 pounds).

Crayfish, common in streams and also lakes, regularly conceal us under rocks or logs. They space most active at night, as soon as they feed greatly on snails, insect larvae, worms, and amphibian tadpoles; some eat vegetation. Crayfish friend in the autumn and lay eggs in the spring. The eggs, attached to the female’s abdomen, flower in five to eight weeks. The larvae continue to be on the mom for number of weeks. Sex-related maturity is accomplished in a few months to several years, and also the life span ranges indigenous 1 to 20 years, depending upon the species.


The most typical genera of north America include Procambarus, Orconectes, Faxonella, Cambarus, Cambarellus, and Pacifastacus. Austropotamobius, the most common genus of Europe, is the just one aboriginal to great Britain. The genus Astacus occurs in Europe, the genus Cambaroides in eastern Asia.

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The editor of Encyclopaedia lungemine.comThis short article was many recently revised and also updated by Adam Augustyn.