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freshwater crustaceancrustacean
, primarily aquatic arthropod of the subphylum Crustacea. Most of the 44,000 crustacean species are marine, but there are many freshwater forms. The few groups that inhabit terrestrial areas have not been particularly successful in an evolutionary sense; most require
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 smaller than but structurally very similar to its marine relative the lobsterlobster,
marine crustacean with five pairs of jointed legs, the first bearing large pincerlike claws of unequal size adapted to crushing the shells of its prey. The segmented body of the lobster consists of a large cephalothorax (made up of 14 segments) and a moveable, muscular
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, and found in ponds and streams in most parts of the world except Africa. Crayfish grow some 3 to 4 in. (7.6–10.2 cm) in length and are usually brownish green; some cave-dwelling forms are colorless and eyeless. They are scavengers, feeding on decayed organic matter and also on small fish. The swamp crayfish digs a burrow up to 3 ft (91 cm) deep with a water-filled cavity at the bottom in case of drought. The eggs develop while attached to the swimming legs of the female and look like miniature adults when hatched. Although crayfish are not eaten in most parts of the United States, they are consumed in areas in the Mississippi River basin and are used in the Louisiana area in a thick soup called crayfish bisque. They are agricultural pests in the Mississippi Delta area, where they feed on sprouting wheat and corn. A red-clawed species is considered a delicacy in Europe. Crayfish are classified in the phylum ArthropodaArthropoda
[Gr.,=jointed feet], largest and most diverse animal phylum. The arthropods include crustaceans, insects, centipedes, millipedes, spiders, scorpions, and the extinct trilobites.
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, subphylum Crustacea, order Decapoda.



an invertebrate of the order Decapoda. The body length is usually 6–30 cm, but some species, such as the Madagascar crayfish, reach a length of 80 cm. Most crayfishes inhabit freshwaters. They are nocturnal animals and hide in their burrows during the day. Crayfishes feed primarily on aquatic vegetation growing near the shore, but occasionally they feed on animal substances. The males are longer than the females and have more powerful claws. Crayfishes reproduce in the fall, after the females molt. The females carry from 50 to 100 eggs on their abdomen.

There are three families of crayfishes, distributed in temperate zones throughout the world, excluding Africa. Eight species of the family Astacidae are found in the USSR, with Astacus leptodactylus and A. astacus having the greatest commercial value. Approximately 90 percent of the entire catch of crayfishes in the USSR is from the basin of the Sea of Azov and the Baltic Sea.


Budnikov, K. N., and F. F. Tret’iakov. Rechnye raki i ikh promysel. Moscow, 1952.
Ivanov, A. V. Promyslovye vodnye bezpovonochnye. Moscow, 1955.


(invertebrate zoology)
The common name for a number of lobsterlike fresh-water decapod crustaceans in the section Astacura.


(esp US), crawfish
1. any freshwater decapod crustacean of the genera Astacus and Cambarus, resembling a small lobster
2. any of various similar crustaceans, esp the spiny lobster
References in periodicals archive ?
The parameters in Crawdad were set to identify the 300 most influential words that were common across the sustainability reports of two or more organizations.
My favorite color is Gold-Chrome, but I also do well with Chrome Blue, and Dark Brown Crawdad.
My sister and I did play long and hard with our boy cousins during those summers--swung on grapevines like Tarzan, bent down young pines, waded in sandy brown creeks, poked sticks down crawdad holes, rode the old mule, gathered eggs in the henhouse, swiped chunks of ice from the back of the ice-man's cart.
When using a whole craw, try crushing the head a bit to release those tasty brain morsels that Cajun crawdad fans can't resist.
Farther south is seldom-targeted Haiwee Reservoir (pronounced HAY-wee), where smallmouth and largemouth bass dine on steady diets of crawdad and rainbow and brown brooders occasionally are stocked.
The tails fluttering on it in the water resembled a crawdad, which could have been the reason why it produced more fish in clearer water.
The dinner, which includes rice boudin, crawdads, cornbread and more, is $23.
He had a little bit of local fame as lead singer in a long-running bluegrass band, the Putah Creek Crawdads.
It details the history of the league and its predecessors, then presents profiles of the Asheville Tourists, Augusta Greenjackets, Charleston RiverDogs, Delmarva Shorebirds, Greensboro Grasshoppers, Greenville Drive, Hagerstown Suns, Hickory Crawdads, Kannapolis Intimidators, Lakewood BlueClaws, Lexington Legends, Rome Braves, Savannah Gnats, and West Virginia Power, with information on the history of baseball in the town or city, stadiums, and teams and players, as well as baseball-related and other attractions and restaurants, followed by discussion of Durham as the hub for a road trip, two road trip itineraries and options for fans of a specific team.
19: In Louisiana, crawdads move into flooded rice fields to feed on the remnants of that crop.