Invasive (and Massive) Australian Crawfish Found in Texas — Y’all Go Cook Some Rice
Everything is bigger in Texas, even their crawfish.
Yep, apparently at an apartment complex pond in South Texas, some Australian Redclaw Crawfish were recently found and them things are big big.
Just look at this thing!
After the discovery, Aquatic Biologist Dr. Archis Grubh from Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) was sent out to see if there were more. Sure enough, there were more of them little (but big) boogers.
Three additional Australian Redclaw Crawfish were found between the apartment pond and a nearby resaca two miles away.
“We don’t know when these invasive crayfish were first introduced or how far they have spread, but we do know they can have a negative effect on local species and biodiversity,” said Grubh. “Spreading the word about this invasive species and reporting sightings to TPWD can help us better understand where it is distributed and potentially take steps to help prevent its spread.”
The species can reproduce at a rapid or prolific rate. Females can brood up to five times per year at 1,000 eggs per clutch. The crawfish grow rapidly too, and can reach up to two pounds in under a year.
Additionally, these large crawfish "can significantly alter habitat and vegetation, competitively exclude crawfish and impact native fish communities by direct predation." Australian Redclaw Crawfish can also carry a crawfish plague as well as other parasites/diseases that could impact the native crawfish.
Given all of the above, they are a prohibited species in Texas. They cannot be legally purchased, sold or possessed in aquariums. It's also illegal to release these crawfish into a public water body.
If anyone sees an Australian Redclaw Crawfish, they should report it TPWD by emailing photos and location information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Good thing these crawfish aren't in Louisiana because we'd already have a festival named after it. However, fellow Cajuns, keep one thing in mind, according to the report below, they taste like lobsters.