Here, you will get to know that What Do Crayfish Eat? Before that let us tell you that what is crayfish? Crayfish are animals that reside in the fresh waters of the entire planet, there are hundreds of species of different sizes and shapes that share the aquatic environment as their preferred habitat.
Crayfish are crustaceans that we can find in rivers with gentle currents. Generally, the river source where they live is usually recognized as uncontaminated water. This, in a way, can make them an indicator of the purity of the area where it resides.
The variety of species of crabs is very wide. There are five superfamilies’ where these animals are classified according to the most characteristic features of each other. In general, this species has in common their tastes for living in humid environments.
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Morphology of Crayfish
This species belongs to the decapod crustacean family, which also includes sea crabs, shrimp and lobsters.
Its exterior morphology is more elongated than that of its saltwater cousins. On many occasions, they are confused with lobsters. Your body is divided into two main parts, the cephalothorax, which is the part where the head meets the thorax, and the abdomen.
Among its most distinguished features are its rough claws and whitish abdomen. The shades of this crustacean vary from black, blue, and brown. Some species have red legs, and depending on the size of the animal, you can determine which part of the river it comes from.
Those that are very small are attributed to the habitat of the headwaters of rivers, in the mountains. Those that reside in the torrents are usually medium in size and the largest are associated with the rivers with the highest flow. In the adult stage, a crayfish can measure 18 centimeters in length.
What Do Crayfish Eat? Feeding Crayfish
You should know and be careful about that what do crayfish eat or whatnot. Crabs, or crayfish in general, are not very good at walking or hunting. For this reason, these crustaceans tend to feed on everything in their path. So, it is classified as an omnivore, since it ingests plants and animals alike.
Water fleas, worms, leeches, and even freshwater snails end up being part of the menu. Under the pressure of its claws, fish, amphibians, and reptiles also succumb which they get under the rocks. In short, they are sustained by any type of organic matter, including carrion.
When calorie sources are scarce, lean your diet toward vegetable intake. This consists of aquatic plants, such as bulrush and algae. On the banks of the river, you usually get the greatest variety of shoots and stems rich in nutrients and easily digested.
Breeding Habits For Crayfish
The crayfish mating way is often defined as aggressive. At the beginning of the reproduction cycle, both the male and the female engage in a kind of fight that usually causes fatal injuries.
In the fight, the male has to knock down the female in order to copulate; mating usually takes about 15 minutes. The male crab uses its ‘false legs’ from the abdomen to expel the semen that will lead to fertilization. This cycle of fertilization of the eggs occurs one month after copulation.
Mating usually occurs in the fall. During the winter, the female goes through a period of hibernation and conserves about 150 eggs that hatch in the months of May and June. The mother is responsible for the care of the litter at least during the first three weeks of life.
Young crayfish reach sexual maturity around the third year of life. The average lifespan of these crustaceans is thought to be around eight years.
Some Uses of Crayfish
This species is usually sold to be used as bait to fish some species such as black sea bass, catfish, or muskies. These various specimens are lured with the whole crab or using only its tail.
This practice is controversial, since using crabs as bait causes ecological disorders that are difficult to solve. For example, crustaceans used as bait are thrown into the water and, if they survive, end up displacing the native species.
The crayfish is also used in the diet of humans throughout the world. This animal is usually the protagonist in soups and other dishes. Served whole or just their tails, there are recipes for all tastes. There are even those who attribute very nutritious properties to the content of the head and the tweezers.
In Spain, this animal is consumed in quantity. However, today crayfish are protected species. This has led to its replacement by the red river crab, of which Spain ranks third as a world exporter.