Top Photo: Red swamp crawfish stands its ground when confronted.
On a morning following a very wet night, I encountered a crawfish hiking its way across the path adjacent to our wetlands. In typical red swamp crawfish fashion the decapod reared up and challenged me.
Red swamp crawfish (Procambarus clarkii) are bold creatures, but over the years I’ve seen that boldness get them into trouble. They get eaten by frogs, snatched up by red-shouldered hawks and barred owls, nabbed by raccoons, and stepped on by unknowing passersby.
These brash aquatic invertebrates are also extremely invasive.
Once introduced into a wetland they are difficult, no, impossible to get rid of. Why is that a problem? because they change the entire habitat and alter ecosystems beyond reasonable repair. The change is good for the crawfish, but it’s disastrous for many other creatures who lived in the habitat pre-introduction.
I’m no fan of these crawfish, (in fact, I’d like to see them permanently removed from our wetlands, from the entire state) but you have to admire their bold as brass attitude. It would only take one quick movement (below) by the party on the right to end the confrontation, yet the crawfish stands straight and true.
The crawfish finally backed down and retreated towards the wetlands.