4 Dec 2002

The Embrace Question

Dear Blue Lobster:

I have two crayfish in my African cichlid tank. One is blue and has longer claws (if that's the right term), and the other is brown and has shorter claws. Do the size of the front claws indicate male and female? They have been together in the tank for a few months. Twice I have seen the longer-clawed crayfish (blue) grab hold of the shorter one's claws and hold it in what looks like a mating embrace. Could this actually be a mating embrace, or are they probably just fighting? Thanks.

Dear Gentle Sir:

To address the most important point first, no, what you are observing is not a mating embrace. It is an embrace of death, brought about by territorial disputes between the two crayfish in your tank!

I recommend either relocating one of the two crayfish, or moving the entire system to a larger tank. Crayfish are territorial and what you have seen in the past is a guarantee of oblivion for the first of these two arch-rivals the moment that they molt and become vulnerable!!!

As for the question about claw size indicating gender: no, sir, this simply indicates that these crays are of different species, and most probably different genera as well.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ok your response to this question is COMPLETELY wrong!

1. Claw size DOES matter in the sexing of crayfish. Although it is not 100% positive way of sexing, the males have longer thinner claws... the females have shorter fatter claws. But the only 100% sure way is flipping them over the old fashion way.
2. That is 100% a MATING behavior... the male will lunge at the female, hold down her claws and they will stay like this for several minutes, sometimes even up to an hour. When he is done, he will let her go.

I REALLY do not know where this dude got his information from, but clearly he is 100% INCORRECT ! You will have babies, any questions, email me angelbdoug@aol.com

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