Orange Dwarf Mexican Lobster

Invertebrates | Orange Dwarf Mexican Lobster

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(Please note that the fish shown in the photo is only a representative of what an adult specimen would look like. The color may vary based on the age and sex of the fish you receive.)

Scientific Name: Cambarellus patzcuarensis

Common Name: Dwarf orange crayfish, CPO crayfish, Mexican dwarf crayfish

Adult Size: 1 - 1.6 inches

Life Expectancy: 1 - 2 years

Habitat: Southeastern United States

Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons

Ideal Tank Conditions:

  • Temperature Range: 65 - 76°F
  • pH Range: 6.5 - 7.5
  • Water Hardness: 6 - 15

Temperament:  Can be aggressive/territorial with its own kind.  Crayfish will typically eat whatever they can catch, but since they are slow-moving, they are not often able to harm fast-moving fish.

Diet & Nutrition:  Omnivorous. Dwarf crayfish will typically eat whatever they can catch, but their small size and slow mobility renders them unable to harm most types of fish or invertebrates (though they may munch on snails or slow dwarf shrimp). They will eat leftovers, dead tank mates, and even fish waste, but their diets can be supplemented with foods like invertebrate pellets, algae wafers, fish food, or blanched vegetables (such as zucchini, carrots, and spinach).

Breeding & Spawning:  Will breed at any time in the aquarium, though feeding high quality foods and keeping the water pristine will help trigger breeding behavior.

After mating, the female will carry eggs in a pouch underneath her back legs. Dark-colored eggs indicate that the eggs are fertilized and should hatch within 3 to 4 weeks. Like shrimp fry, dwarf crayfish babies are born as miniature versions of their parents and are thus able to fend for themselves. However, it is extra important for the fry to have plenty of hiding places, as they are very vulnerable when they are that small. The fry will eat waste and leftover food, but they may eat each other if not enough food is available to them.When mating begins, the male deposits a sack of sperm on the female who then passes her eggs through the sperm to fertilize them. After the eggs have been fertilized, they are then kept under the tail by the female who should be placed in a tank on her own at this point.

Gender:  Males tend generally to be larger in size than females, with larger chelae and narrower abdomens. There tails host small appendages, including swimmerets. Males carry an extra set of these swimmerets, which are enlarged and hardened. Females possess a small hole just behind their swimmerets. The female’s broader abdomen provides an ideal place to carry her brood.