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Name: Jackie
Status: other
Age: 40s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 12/29/2004

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.

J. Elliott

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.

Steve Sample
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.

T. Esposito

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