Where did it come from?
- The red swamp crayfish is native to the Gulf Coast and the Mississippi River drainage.
- It was probably introduced through aquaculture because it is a popular food worldwide.
Why is it a problem?
- The red swamp crayfish can be a host for parasites and diseases.
- It also aggressively competes with native crayfish and other species for food and habitat.
What does it look like?
- Including claws, the red swamp crayfish can grow up to five inches long.
- It has a dark red body and claws, with spiky, bright red bumps.
- There is also a black wedge-shaped stripe on its underside.
What habitat does it prefer?
- The red swamp crayfish lives in flowing and non-flowing fresh and salt water.
- It chooses areas of streams and ditches with organic debris.
How does it spread?
- The red swamp crayfish was probably accidentally released from aquaculture operations, bait buckets or the live-food trade.
- It can walk several miles overland to a new pond.