One of Discovery Hall’s Sunfish Celebrations tanks is home to some striking new residents from the Sunshine State, including a quintet of brilliantly blue Florida Crayfish (Procambarus alleni) and about a handful of iridescent Florida Flagfish (Jordanella floridae).
“This tank is Florida-esque, so I wanted all the animals in the tank to be from that area,” says Aquarist I Trae Terry III. “It’s not uncommon to see these species together in the wild, so I wanted to capture that in this tank. I wanted to have large rocks with holes in them so the crayfish can go underneath them and push the fish up into the water column so they’re easy to see.”
This species of crayfish has several other aliases, including the Everglades Crayfish and (appropriately) the Electric Blue Crayfish. It is found in ditches, bogs, marshes, wetlands and lakes throughout peninsular Florida (below the panhandle), as well as some of the Florida Keys. These crayfish are listed as of least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, which describes it as “robust and well-adapted to seasonal habitats.”
The Florida Crayfish can be hard to spot, preferring to spend much of their time tucked behind or into the holes of the rocks within their exhibit.
Did you know? Crayfish, like cephalopods such as Cuttlefish, Squid and Octopuses, can change their coloration via pigment-altering cells called chromatophores. Through these cells, crayfish will often adjust their appearance to better match that of the surrounding environment.