Procambarus clarkii (Red Swamp Crayfish)

Family: Cambaridae

Distribution: Procambarus clarkii has its origins in the south-central United States and north-eastern parts of Mexico.  It can now be found in the River Nile, Japan, Hawaii, and areas of Western Europe, including Spain and Portugal.  This crayfish is found in slow streams, swamps, ponds and ditches; it will not be seen in fast-flowing streams.

PH: 7.5 – 8.0

Temperature: 19 – 29°C (66 – 85°F)

Hardness: 8 – 18 °d

Description: The Red Swamp Crayfish can grow as large as 20 cm in length, but is usually 10.5 – 12 cm.  The body is dark red and segmented, and its abdomen has a black stripe on it.  This species uses its appendages for feeding.  This species can live from 2 – 5 years; some individuals have made it to six years.

Diet: The Red Swamp Crayfish is a carnivore and will eat anything.  It has a preference for insect larvae, snails and tadpoles, and is not adverse to eating worms and other dead animals.

Breeding: This species has an internal process of fertilisation.  The male’s sperm will enter the female at the bottom of her legs, where the eggs are fertilised and then released.  The female will create a water current in a bid to drive the eggs into her pleopods.  The eggs will remain there for six months before becoming larvae.  It will take three months for the young to become sexually mature.

Comments: This species should, given its size, be tanked in a 40 litre aquarium at the very least.  The Red Swamp Crayfish is quite aggressive and will destroy vegetation or decorations in your tank, so provide it with a substrate for it to burrow in, along with several hiding places.


Recommended Compatible Species: Procambarus clarkii is a very territorial species and should not be housed with other crayfish.  Do not keep it with slow, small, or long-finned fish as the crayfish will make light work of them.  This crayfish is best kept in a one-species tank.

Originally posted 2010-01-24 19:31:46. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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