Photo by Melody

Red Swamp Crawfish, Crayfish, Crawdad, Mudbug (Procambarus clarkii)

Order: Decapoda
Family: Astacidae
Genus: Procambarus
Species: clarkii


5 positives
3 neutrals
No negatives


This bug has been reportedly found in the following regions:

Hanceville, Alabama
Phoenix, Arizona
Prescott Valley, Arizona
Malvern, Arkansas
Los Angeles, California
Lakeland, Florida
Patriot, Indiana
Belle Chasse, Louisiana
Coushatta, Louisiana
Halifax, Massachusetts
Beulaville, North Carolina
Defiance, Ohio
Maumee, Ohio
Astoria, Oregon
Gearhart, Oregon
Warrenton, Oregon
Waynesboro, Pennsylvania
Ashaway, Rhode Island
Summerville, South Carolina
Houston, Texas
Humble, Texas
New Caney, Texas
Richmond, Texas
Tooele, Utah

By Xenomorf
Thumbnail #1 of Red Swamp Crawfish, Crayfish, Crawdad, Mudbug (Procambarus clarkii) by Xenomorf

Member Notes:

Positive Xenomorf On Jul 25, 2006, Xenomorf from Valley of the Sun, AZ
(Zone 9b) wrote:

They've been called 'Big Bugs' by some, a common food, the taste lies somewhere between lobster and shrimp. The way they say to eat them is to "Snap the tail and suck the head".
I used to have them in a garden pond I had, but they somehow were able to snag all my smaller fish. I've found them in just about every lake, stream, river or canal in Arizona.
Other Common names are: Russian "Raki"; Kazakh "Shaitanbalyk"; Turkmenian "Shaitanbalyk"; Azerbaijani "Kharchag".

Positive Valkyrie_Mother On Jul 26, 2006, Valkyrie_Mother from Astoria, OR wrote:

Crawdads aren't bugs--they are crustations! And very yummy to eat! Set out a crawdad/crayfish trap, take home, immediately boil them in water with salt (or Crab Broil if you have it) until there shell/exoskeleton turns colors...then cool and eat! Tear of the tails and crack open using nut crackers...make sure you place plenty of newspaper down on the table first!

At least that's how we do it in the NW! :)

Positive renwings On Apr 3, 2007, renwings from Sultan, WA
(Zone 8a) wrote:

These guys are easy to catch in the Settler's Canyon Reservoir outside of Tooele, UT. I don't care for the way they taste.
We'd dangle a bit of bologna from our lunch in the water and they'd come running. Just a matter of snatching them out of the water and dropping them in a bucket.

Positive russelln On Jun 13, 2007, russelln from Humble, TX wrote:

As a transplant to Kingwood (Houston) Texas from Montana, I have to say that I was a bit shocked someone took me to the Spring Crawfish and Music Festival in a nearby town. They sat a tray of boiled "mudbugs", corns on the cob and red skinned potatoes in front of me along with a glass of iced tea and laughed when I asked for asked for sugar for my tea (it was "sweet tea"). They were rolling on the grass by the picnic table by the time they had explained how to eat. what for me in my Montana youth had been great free fish bait.

As has been said before by other site members you simply twist the abdomen from the thorax like you would with a lobster, peel the tail just like a lobster and eat the meat . Then you place the open cavity where you seperated the thorax and abdomen and suck the juices from the cavity. You are eating the fat and roe if any exists when you " suck the head," it is an aquired taste but should be tried at least once.

Living so near Louisiana I guess it is impossible not to have crawfish in our bayous, lakes and creeks. They do well with medium to large fish in garden ponds. It should be noted, we used these as bait for fishing, as I said earlier. It is a bit of a balancing act of size and places to hide. They will eat small fish and be eaten by larger ones. If you can give them crevice in the pond to hide in they fair better with larger fish. They can reproduce easily in the pond environment. And, just think, if they get too over populated you have a great appetizer for you next dinner party.

Positive spring_luver On Apr 14, 2009, spring_luver from Malvern, AR
(Zone 7b) wrote:

LOL My brother & I as kids used to catch these in our creek -or I guess more accurately HE caught them I held the bucket :) We would take them down to the local dock and sell them!! Nice profit for 2 little kids playing in the creek :)

Neutral Hpyndixie On Jun 3, 2009, Hpyndixie from Summerville, SC
(Zone 8a) wrote:

I have one of these living in my pool right now! I have no idea how it got there. It will be interesting to see how long it lives as there are frogs and other things that end up there and since it's been in there I haven't seen any drowned frogs floating around. BTW our pool is very clean and blue.

Neutral ImperfectEnding On Jul 2, 2009, ImperfectEnding from Los Angeles, CA wrote:

Seen them in Disneyland's pond

Neutral AndiGail On Feb 22, 2012, AndiGail from Richmond, TX wrote:

With all the rain we have had down here in South Texas, our garden is full of crawdad mounds. I do not know if this is a good or a bad thing yet, but time will tell.

If they keep other pests out of the garden, then it is a good thing. Regardless of good or bad, our garden is organic and so we will just share our space with them and hope for the best.

I do know one thing, they help mix the clay with the compost so that part is good anyway. I will keep you posted on my blog.

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