Tuesday, February 6, 2018


 The Great Namazu, MAritime Analysts, Retired Japanese Demigod

Greetings Bipeds! 
 The news today out of Germany is that quite a few aquarium hobbyist in recent decades have adopted the American crayfish (AKA "crawfish" or "craw fish")  as aquarium species or as sometimes over stated a "pet'. The "red" (maybe after boiling by Cousin Jack's pals the Cajuns of South Louisiana) or at least reddish brown American "crawfish" without any real biped interference has morphed (at least evolved really rapidly) into the "marbled crawfish" now becoming a pest in German waters and in of all places Madagascar. 

Procambarus clarkii (Red Swamp Crayfish), Photo by USGS

Red Phase after boiling by Cajuns: Photo by Justin Watt  licensed under the Creative Commons license.
Title: A meal of crawdads, Spring Break in New Orleans source: see CRAYFISH AS FOOD

What has happened is, to paraphrase a line from the movie Jurassic Park .."nature has found a way". Aquarium hobbyist would buy very often a single "red" American crawfish looking so much like its' bigger cousin the main lobster as a bottom cleaner (they are bottom feeders). The species was useful and visually interesting in the aquarium. Telling males from females among small fresh water crawfish /crayfish is not easy and probably didn't seem important to the aquarium keepers. The lone males would eventually die off without issue, but the females began to literally clone themselves laying viable eggs that were exact genetic replicas of them selves. Here and there aquariums in Germany and Madagascar where the "American Red Crawfish" / "Louisiana Swamp Crawfish" was also a popular bottom species became over run with clones of the lone females. There was no genetic engineering on the part of the bipeds, just evolution going to work within the context of non vertebrate evolution.  The "naturally" cloned crawfish  took on a more "marbled": or speckled appearance and are now referred to as "marbled" or "speckled" crawfish and are thought to be distinct species from their red American ancestors. All the aquarium keepers did was isolate, on what turned out to be a large scale though each gene pool was very small' a bunch of female crawfish and nature did what nature does in the non vertebrate phylum, it found a way to preserve the species. The surplus crawfish, actually clones, were released into the wilds by well meaning aquarium owners and now over run some German and Madagascar waters. Another example of the Colombian Exchange gone awry. 

Marbled "Crawfish"photo by Chris Lukhaup, DKFZ

You may want to watch a video on this on You Tube : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBGZiWdJbd0

 There is good news. As mentioned in the Youtube Video linked to above the crawfish or "crayfish" may be useful in human cancer research. But the really good news from a pest control viewpoint is the fact that these new cloned crawfish are evolved from the highly edible American Red. Unfortunately most Americans regard the crawfish as "fish bait'. But Cousin's Jack's pals the Louisiana Cajuns have invented numerous recipes that non native bipeds known as tourists ingest in copious quantities when visiting South Louisiana. This part of the popular Louisiana cuisine has not spread as far and wide in America or the world as say "Blackened Red Fish", With the "Louisiana Swamp Crawfish" ( AKA the "red" as discussed in this post) spreading nationally and internationally it is important for bipeds to learn how to prepare and eat this interesting and tasty source of protein. The Colombian Exchange is not limited to the international  spread of non native species. Modern transportation has helped many North American native species cross mountain and desert barriers to their previous ranges. I join my cousin Jack and others in advising "EAT THE INVADERS"  

To aid all bipeds with gastronomic interests in the species or simply a desire to do your part in eating your way out of the Colombian Exchange gone awry below are some sources of delicious crawfish / crayfish recipes from Cousin Jack's Louisiana and other places. 





Now like the natives of South Louisiana, when it comes to "crawfish"....you finally know Jack. 

Your Pal,