Would you eat crawfish?
Sure, crawfish look a bit like bugs, but many people think crawfish are tasty!
Animal scientists at the Louisiana State University Ag Center study crawfish. They research how to raise and harvest crawfish.
Crawfish are sometimes called “crayfish” or “crawdads.” They live in freshwater streams and eat plants and small animals. If a stream dries up, crawfish can dig burrows and hid in the mud to survive.
Crawfish are not actually fish. They are a kind of animal called a crustacean. Crustaceans have hard shells. Their bodies are made up of three parts: a head, a thorax and an abdomen. Shrimp and lobsters are crustaceans too!
According to experts at the Louisiana State University Ag Center, there are about 1,500 crawfish farmers in the state of Louisiana. These farmers raise crawfish in large ponds. Some farmers raise rice in the ponds every other year. The stalks of rice provide plant material that the crawfish will eat the next year. They harvest the crawfish by setting traps in the pond.
Crawfish from Louisiana are eaten all around the world! Crawfish are important in Louisianan culture too. They are part of a popular spicy stew called etoufee.
Some people keep crawfish as pets. You have to be careful with a pet crawfish though! Some will eat all the plants in an aquarium!