British crawfish falling victim to US rival

It appears Britain’s only native species of crawfish is tad more snobbish than its American cousin, and it’s proving a definite hindrance to its survival.

American signal crawfish are not only less fussy about what they eat than Britain’s white-clawed crawfish but it’s also are more resistant to parasites.

Researchers from the University of Leeds in England have published a study in the online journal PLoS One that looks at why signal crawfish – or “crayfish,” as non-Southerners like to refer to the crustacean – have been gaining the upper hand over white-clawed crawfish in Great Britain since the former’s introduction from the US in the 1970s.

Among other things, the study compares how the two species deal with food.

“The American signal crayfish ate up to 83 per cent more food per day than did their native cousins,” according to

“The research also showed that white-clawed crayfish are much more choosy about what they eat, preferring particular types of prey, while the signals eat equal amounts of all prey,” it added.

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