My 8 year old Grandson lives near a creek in Bensenville,
Illinois. He called me yesterday to let me know he caught some "crayfish"
in the stream. He said they are babies, and so they don't have claws yet.
My question, don't baby crawfish have claws? If these little things he
caught are not crayfish, what else could they be?
Yes, baby crayfish have claws, they are miniature versions of adults and
grow by molting. There are several other small invertebrates that might live
in the same water, I couldn't say what it might be. There are some easy to
use guides to aquatic life that might be at a library, the Golden Guide to
Pond Life is one.
It is not unusually to find crawfish without one or both claws. It may or
may not have been a crawfish. His identification could have been based
on the fact that it did not have claws.
York Community High School
I once found a mother crawfish carrying dozens of babies on her underside. This
was during winter during an unseasonably warm thaw. Thinking
the young would die when freezing temperatures returned, I placed them
in an aquarium until spring, feeding them fish and turtle food. As the young grew,
their claws got larger and more noticeable, but were always present, just tiny.
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Update: June 2012