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Louisiana State Crustacean

Crawfish; photo © Louisiana artist Guy Fanguy (all rights reserved; used by permission).


The crawfish was designated the official state crustacean of Louisiana in 1983. South Louisiana is the crawfish capital of the world. Also called crayfish, mudbugs or crawdads, the crawfish resembles a very small lobster. Coloring varies depending on the water it lives in. There are more than 500 species of crawfish (Procambarus clarkii); over half live in North America. In Louisiana, two species are harvested: the red swamp and the white river crawfish.

Native Americans harvested crawfish by baiting reeds with venison (deer meat). Louisiana produces 100 million pounds of crawfish per year and was the first state to adopt an official crustacean.