cajun dwarf crayfish

Scientific name Cambarellus shufeldtii
Descriptor Faxon
Year of description 1884
IUCN category (World) LC
Family Cambaridae
Genus Cambarellus
Cambarellus shufeldtii Cambarellus shufeldtii

Introduction

Cambarellus shufeldtii, commonly known as cajun dwarf crayfish, is a little fresh water crustacea from the North America.

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Who is it?

Morphology

  • Average size
    2 cm
  • Maximum size
    3 cm
  • Longevity
    2 year
  • Pattern
    vertical stripes
  • Mimicry
    plants
  • Average size
    2 cm
  • Maximum size
    3 cm
  • Longevity
    2 year
  • Pattern
    vertical stripes
  • Mimicry
    plants

How to recognize the cajun dwarf crayfish ?

The cajun dwarf crayfish measures around 2 cm. The females are more imposing and some specimens can reach 3 cm. this crustacea is unicolore with a predominantly marron and gris body. The also has noir vertical stripes.

The crayfish has claws on the first three pairs of legs. The first pair always has the largest claws, with the second and third pairs usually consisting of simpler claws. The other pairs of legs end in a spine.

Sexual dimorphism

The female is bigger than the male.

Behaviour & Life cycle

  • Sociability
    living in colonies
  • territorial
    Yes
  • Venomous
    No
  • Way of living
    diurnal

Like all crustaceans, The cajun dwarf crayfish molts whenever it becomes cramped in its shell. Before the hardening of its new body, it is more vulnerable and spends a good part of its time hidden. This mechanism, very complex, allows the periodic renewal of the exoskeleton and part of the internal skeleton. It is also during the moult that the females become fertile.

The cajun dwarf crayfish is a crustacea living in colonies naturally found on the bottom. This species is carnivorous . Measuring only a few centimeters, this small species tends to be discreet and hide in the presence of larger neighbors.

This species is territorial and does not appreciate the presence of intruders nearby, especially animals with similar behavior. However, the cajun dwarf crayfish has little concern for non-territorial animals.

Reproduction

  • Reproduction
    ovipare

The cajun dwarf crayfish is a crustacea ovipare. Like crabs, females incubate numerous eggs under their abdomen. It is an exclusively freshwater species, the whole reproduction process takes place in fresh water. This species follows a mode of reproduction called "direct development". After several weeks of incubation, the female gives birth to fully formed juveniles ready to fend for themselves.

Harmless species

This species does not represent any particular threats to humans when encountered in its natural environment.

Where to find it?

What is its habitat?

Natural environment characteristics

  • Temperature
    4 - 30 °C
  • pH (acidity)
    6 - 8.5
  • Flow
    Slow and Stagnant

Biotope presentation

This animal evolves in areas characterized by a strong presence of vegetation (aquatic and marsh plants, decaying organic matter, roots...). It is particularly observed near clusters of leaves or plants where it finds food and shelter in case of danger.

Main recommendations for fishkeeping

Deontology

In order to preserve wildlife, if you acquire this animal, it must not be released into the wild. See also, the Fishipedia charter.

Fishipedia supports the practice of responsible and environmentally friendly aquarium keeping. We encourage maintenance if it is motivated by a desire to understand the biological functioning of living things and if it is done with respect for animal life.

We believe that aquaristics is an opening to the discovery of aquatic environments, especially freshwater, and that this knowledge is necessary to better protect and respect these environments. Logically, we refute the compulsive purchase of animals that would not find a sufficient and / or adapted place in the host aquarium.

Our recommendations

  • Min volume
    30 liters
  • Population min
    2
  • Temperature
    4 - 30 °C
  • pH (acidity)
    6.8 - 7.2

Characteristics

  • Type of maintenance
    Aquarium
  • Maintenance difficulty
    easy
  • Availability
    standard
  • Behaviour
    slightly aggressive
  • Robustness
    robust
  • Environment
    fresh water
  • Breeding
    fresh water

General reminders

It is strongly advised to read the complete dedicated file and to get information on the feedbacks of maintenance of the envisaged animal, this to avoid any potential conflict whose end result is generally the death of the individual (or the other inhabitants). It is important not to overload your aquarium to limit pollution. This will make maintenance easier.

In nature, animals are subject to weather conditions and live in waters with variable characteristics. The recommendations offered by our team for aquarium maintenance are a guidance and cannot be assimilated to scientific datas.

General reminder on maintenance datas

Le démarrage d'un aquarium est une partie primordiale pour l'équilibre et le bien-être des poissons. Lorsque l'on met en eau un aquarium, l'eau passe naturellement par un cycle biologique : le cycle de l'azote. Celui-ci dure environ trois semaines. Tous les 2 jours, nous vous conseillons de tester votre eau jusqu'à ce que le taux de nitrite soit à zéro pendant plusieurs jours d'affilée.

Pour accélérer ce cycle, vous pouvez utiliser un activateur de bactéries comme JBL Denitrol. Cette solution riche en bactéries vivantes et enzymes permet une mise en place rapide du cycle de l'azote. Les poissons peuvent alors être introduits plus rapidement.

Il est important de tester l'eau de son aquarium régulièrement pour maintenir un environnement sain pour les poissons et les autres habitants. Les tests d'eau permettent de mesurer les niveaux de différents paramètres tels que le pH, la dureté totale, ainsi que les taux de nitrates, de nitrites et d'ammoniaque.

Pour réaliser ces tests, vous pouvez utiliser des produits d'analyse spécialisés tels que JBL ProScan qui permet de réaliser un diagnostic de l'eau directement via un smartphone. Il existe également des coffrets de tests plus classiques de bandelettes, comme JBL PROAQUATEST.

En cas d’usage de l’eau du robinet, vous pouvez utiliser un conditionneur d’eau de type Biotopol de JBL pour éliminer les substances nocives comme le chlore, le cuivre, le plomb et le zinc. Les conditionneurs d'eau garantissent une meilleure santé aux poissons et une meilleure croissance des plantes.

Chlorine and chloramine are dangerous for the health of animals. Used to disinfect water, these agents are present in significant quantities in tap water. We recommend using an anti-chlorine agent every time you change the water. In addition to chlorine, treatments and medicines sold for aquarium use sometimes contain dangerous heavy metals in high doses.

Specific needs for the cajun dwarf crayfish

The cajun dwarf crayfish is a species which lives naturally at a temperature between 4 °C and 30 °C. For proper maintenance, the temperature should never exceed the 33°C for long periods. Nitrate levels should remain below 50mg/L. To keep the water clean and unpolluted, plan on changing 20% to 30% of the water volume each month.

Breeding this species is accessible to any hobbyist. It is recommended to follow some basic rules and to be rigorous to achieve a good maintenance.

This species is particularly common in the aquarium trade. Animals from long-term breeding are usually acclimatized at a temperature of about 26 °C in neutral water.

Copper is toxic to many invertebrates. Some fertilizers and aquarium foods contain copper sulfate and should be used with caution. Since The cajun dwarf crayfish are sensitive to copper, we do not recommend using these products in any form.

Precautions to take with crayfish

By nature, the crayfish has the ability to adapt its gills to breathe in the water, but also outside. This allows it to get out of the water when it lacks food or to escape from predators.

It is also an outstanding climber, it uses this skill to take refuge under woods, rocks or in crevices in its environment. In aquarium, by instinct, it will seek by all the means to leave the tank. Every pipe or hole will be a potential means of escape. To avoid an exit that could be fatal to it, it is necessary to plug all holes in the aquarium.

If by accident it manages to get out of the aquarium, it will be able to survive for a while and adapt its breathing. If you capture it, it is crucial to let it get reaccustomed to the water gradually, for example by putting it on a surface with two land/water areas. Putting it back in the water immediately will result in an irreversible drowning.

Cohabitation & Environment

Being a living in colonies crustacea, it is advisable to install at least 2 individuals in an aquarium of 30 liters minimum (for 30 cm of frontage). The maintenance in groups allows to observe its natural behavior within the aquarium.

The cajun dwarf crayfish may show signs of aggression. In general, this species should not be mixed with large territorial species or other overly aggressive species, in order to avoid possible stress or even injury.

However, it can coexist with other species with a peaceful temperament and with some slightly territorial neighbors, as far as the volume of the aquarium allows. It is important to avoid that two territorial species share the same living area in an aquarium of insufficient volume.

Due to their fragile state during moulting, all crustaceans need an environment provided with hiding places (roots, pebbles, leaves, plants, etc.) to shelter in case of danger.

It should be noticed that this species should not be kept with large crustaceans or fish, as it would become a prey of choice. Smaller species should preferably be inserted in the aquarium some time before the larger ones. Moreover, if you want to breed it, it is better to put them in a specific aquarium.

The species enjoys a particularly vegetation-rich environment. The addition of plants will provide many useful hiding places for resting. These areas are also conducive to possible breeding in the aquarium. Floating plants such as Salvinia can be added to recreate the subdued atmosphere characteristic of its living conditions in the wild.

Tips for feeding

The cajun dwarf crayfish is carnivorous.

Reproduction protocol

  • Maintenance difficulty
    easy
  • egg-laying protection
    No

Reproduction of this species in an aquarium is considered easy.

Reproduction of this species is feasible in captivity, with the entire process taking place in fresh water. If the water conditions are met, the females will give birth to fully formed larvae that are ready to fend for themselves at birth.

Hybridization risks

In general, it is advised not to mix several species of the same genus or different varieties of the same species, to avoid the risks of hybridization.

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