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      Northern Clearwater Crayfish



Northern Clearwater Crayfish(Orconectes propinquus)

We no longer carry the Northern Clearwater.


v     Orconectectes Propinquus

v     Common Names:  Northern Clearwater Crawfish, Crawdads or Crayfish


v     Northern Clearwater Crayfish have one pair of robust claws and are dark reddish brown. Behind the claws they have 10 walking legs. They have a dark band or stripe that runs along the midline of their carapace (shell). Their coloration makes them difficult to see in their rocky, underwater habitat. Adults may reach between 3 and 5 inches long. 


v     They are found in clear, rocky streams and the rocky shores and riffles of lakes.  Northern Clearwater Crayfish are native to the Great Lakes Region of North America.


v     Northern clearwater crayfish feed on insects, snails, other invertebrates, aquatic plants, and algae.  In captivity they feed on flake food, shrimp pellets, peas, lettuce, and many other types of food.

v     They excavate burrows in which to hide.  Northern Clearwater Crayfish forage among the rocks and debris along the bottom of the lakes and streams in which they live.

v     These crayfish live in clear water environments, so are mostly active during the day and use their vision to find prey much more than other, related crayfish species. They also respond to chemical cues and to touch. Other crayfish give off an alarm odor when they encounter a predator, the presence of this alarm odor makes neighboring crayfish more likely to respond with alarm to things that they see or feel.

v     Males and females mate in the water but the female doesn't release her eggs to be fertilized until water temperatures become warmer. At that point the eggs are expelled and fertilized as they pass out of her. The eggs become attached to a mucous-like substance called 'glair' on her swimmerets. From 80 to 575 eggs are laid with each mating but up to 30 to 40% of eggs are lost as they are pushed away by water currents. In their earliest stages of development the eggs are small (0.3 to 0. mm) and white, with little yolk. Later in development the eggs become larger (1.8 to 1.9 mm in diameter), dark brown or black, and heavy with yolk.

v     Females tend eggs on their swimming legs while the eggs develop, thus protecting them from predators and injury. Once the young hatch there is no further parental care.

v     Northern Clearwater Crayfish may live to be 3 to 4 years old, though in captivity, they are known to live longer.


v     Some of this information came from the University Of Michigan






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