Mexican Dwarf Crayfish (Cambarellus texanus)

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Mexican Dwarf Crayfish

Common name: Dwarf orange crayfish

Scientific name: Cambarellus patzcuarensis

Distribution: Lake Pátzcuaro in central Mexico

Habitat: Muddy lakebed, often among dense vegetation

Temperature: 68 – 78°F

pH: 7.0 – 8.2


Adult size: 1 inch

Diet: Dried foods, frozen and live foods, and blanched vegetables; feed a protein-heavier diet than you would feed dwarf shrimp

Conspecifics: Can be kept with it kind, but will threaten and occasionally fight with each other. Ensure there are many hiding spots so individuals can molt safely.

Tankmates: May prey on fish fry or small invertebrates, otherwise harmless to adult fish. Larger fish may attempt to eat them.

Notes: The bright orange color of dwarf orange crayfish comes from a recessive mutation: wild-type Cambarellus patzcuarensis are a pale greyish-brown. Treat these like larger crayfish—not dwarf shrimp—and expect some aggression between conspecifics. It is crucial to provide many hiding spots so smaller individuals can escape during territorial disputes and molting individuals have a place to hide during this vulnerable stage.

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