Crawfish – or crayfish, or mudbugs, or crawdads, depending on your region and upbringing – are a staple here in Southern Louisiana during the spring and summer. Over the years, crawfish popularity has grown throughout the world, with crawfish actually becoming a delicacy in many European countries.
It’s good to know the world is finally starting to figure out what we here in Louisiana have known for generations, and to celebrate this, here are 13 facts about these delicious crustaceans that you probably didn’t know – unless you’re a true crawfish enthusiast.
- Crawfish come in a variety of colors. The most common is red, but crawfish also come in blues, whites, greens, and yellow. When cooked, however, all crawfish turn the color red.
- Crawfish are a close relative of the lobster. In fact, crawfish are more closely related to the Maine lobster than other types of lobster in the oceans. They are so close in taste that there was a recent incident in which a New York restaurant was using crawfish in place of lobster in their lobster salad – and no one noticed.
- There are more than 500 species of crawfish found throughout the world, and more than 350 of those live in the United States. Of these, only two species are actually harvested and eaten.
- Crawfish live on every continent in the world except for Antarctica and Africa.
- The crawfish is the Official Crustacean of the State of Louisiana – and Louisiana is the first state to actually have an Official Crustacean.
- Crawfish have eight pairs of legs, four are used for walking, and four are used for swimming.
- There is a crawfish known as the dwarf crawfish and it is very small.
- Crawfish can regenerate lost limbs, which come in very useful during mating season when males can get very competitive and aggressive.
- Crawfish have been on Earth for a very long time. In fact, the earliest found crawfish fossil is 30 million years old, and they have found crawfish burrows dating back 100 million years in Australia.
- Speaking of Australia, while most crawfish in the U.S. grows to 3-4 inches, there are species Down Under that grow to 15.5 inches and weigh more than 8 pounds – and no, they are not lobsters!
- Crawfish have extremely good eyesight and can move their eyes independently of one another.
- Crawfish reach adult size in about four years, but can actually live up to 30 years in the wild.
- Crawfish walk forward, but swim backward using their abdomen muscles. They actually move much faster backward while swimming.
If all this knowledge built up an appetite, be sure to buy some delicious, live crawfish for your next crawfish boil! Cajun Crawfish grows our own crawfish right here on the farm and will deliver them right to your door fast and fresh.