Any of various freshwater crustaceans that resemble tiny lobsters, complete with claws. Crayfish can be prepared in most manners appropriate for lobster and, like lobster, turn bright red when cooked. They're usually eaten with the fingers, and the sweet, succulent meat must be picked or sucked out of the tiny shells. Crayfish are common in rivers, streams and lakes, and often conceal themselves under rocks, weed beds or log. This rather plain, gray-green crayfish is characterized by a pale central zone along the middle of the carapace and abdomen. The pincers are orange- tipped, and in mature males are uniquely tinged with purple. The rostrum is without lateral notches or spines near its tip. The latter species does not have a pale zone along the middle of the carapace and abdomen, and the rostrum has lateral notches or spines near its tip. This powerfully built crayfish is usually olive-tan or reddish brown, without prominent spots or blotches. A narrow blackish band is present at the junction of the carapace and abdomen. They are an important food for many other animals and have long been popular as fish bait. Most crayfish look pretty much alike, but closer study reveals that the species differ greatly in size, color and the proportional development of various body parts. These differences are in turn related to the diversity of habits that crayfish have adopted to find food, reproduce their kind and avoid being eaten by predators such as fish and birds.
This crustacean is found in the local waters around New Orleans; it's like a tiny lobster, and the tail meat is what is usually consumed. Crawfish, like shrimp or Canadian-American lobster, belong to the scientific class Crustacea. Color and size varies with species, diet, and age. Most are red; some are green, brown, tan, or blue with black or orange markings in various combinations. Often juveniles will be a light tan color that turns to a deep red as an adult. They grow by molting, that is they shed their carapace or shell when they outgrow it, and form a new hard shell. When they first molt they are soft, and very vulnerable to attack by other crawfish or fish. It can take a couple days for the new shell to fully harden. They are normally one hundred percent aquatic, but they can survive out of the water as long as their gills remain wet. Omnivorous-fish, shrimp, meat, vegetables like peas, zucchini, carrots, sinking pellets, table scraps. They are found in bodies of fresh water that do not freeze to the bottom, and which have shelter against predators.