12 Dec 2006

True vs. Genetic Crays?

Dear Blue Lobster:

Hi, I was looking at some crayfish for sale and the seller has 2 of the same crayfish, One is true and one is genetic. Does anyone know the differance.


Dear Gentle Sir:

In arthropod nomenclature, "true" and "genetic" refer to the breeding background of the specimen in question.

True refers to specimens that have been naturally bred without the intervention of humans in the breeding process. So, for instance, crays in the wild are typically true specimens. Crays in fisheries or ponds, despite being housed by man, are also considered true specimens since their reproduction happens naturally.

Genetic specimens, on the other hand, have had some kind of human influence on their reproduction. In this case, "genetic" is short for "genetically engineered." For instance, all cray hybrids that do not occur in nature and only happen in artifical environments are considered genetic.

While in most cases a distinction between true and genetic animals is unimportant, researchers may need a specimen of a certain type, while some individuals prefer not to own or eat anything that has been genetically engineered. In these cases, knowing the birthright of your crustacean is important.

When purchasing crays, or indeed any crustacean, dealers label whether or not a specimen is true or genetic. However, the labels made have been made arbitrarily in order to boost the price of the creature. The only way to avoid this is to research the dealer. Are they reputable? Is there anyone else that has purchased from them?

Hopefully the dealer in question here is reputable and and isn't trying to charge you for a deceptively labeled animal. Good luck!


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