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Procambarus clarkii

Procambarus clarkii
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Procambarus clarkii is a freshwater crayfish species, native to the Southeastern United States, but found also on other continents, where it is often an invasive pest. It is known variously as the red swamp crawfish, red swamp crayfish, Louisiana crawfish, Louisiana crayfish or mudbug.

P. clarkii is most commonly found in warm fresh water, such as slowly-flowing rivers, marshes, reservoirs, irrigation systems and rice paddies. It is considered to be the most ecologically plastic species in the Order Decapoda, and is able to grow quickly even in only seasonally present water, being able to tolerate dry spells of up to four months. P. clarkii grows quickly, and is capable of reaching weights in excess of 50 g, and sizes of 5.5–12 centimetres (2.2–4.7 in) long. It is also able to tolerate slightly saline water, which is unusual for a crayfish. The average lifetime of Procambarus clarkii is 5 years. It is known that some individuals have reached ages (in nature) over 6 years.
The burrowing activities of P. clarkii can lead to damage to water courses and to crops, particularly rice crops, and its feeding can disrupt native ecosystems. It may out-compete the native crayfish species, and is a vector for the crayfish plague fungus Aphanomyces astaci, for crayfish virus vibriosis and a number of worms parasitic on vertebrates.