This is Procambarus Marmorkrebs “Marbled Crayfish”.
This is one of the strangest crayfish you will ever find! It is the only crayfish in existence – and one of the only animals known – to TRULY clone itself. They do not need a mate to have babies!
BEWARE THE FAKES! Some people are advertising & selling “New BLUE Marbled Crays”. These are FAKE. All Marbled Crays have some blue coloring! See our BEWARE section for details.
It was first discovered in the 1990’s in a German aquarium shop, and has no known natural origin. It has a striking brown-on-tan pattern, plus blue legs which become very bright after a molt. Changing its’ water conditions, and/or diet, can temporarily alter the color of this animal.
Marbled crayfish’s gender is always female, and she does not need a partner at all to reproduce (they reproduce parthogenically). They grow very quickly to reach the adult stage (usually is around 8 to 12 cm when fully developed inside the aquarium) in which they can start to reproduce. Each of these “female” crayfish is capable of holding 400-1000 eggs each time she “breeds” in brooding (gestation) periods between 22 and 42 days (of pregnancy). The younger adults have smaller numbers of babies, the brood sizes increase as they age. Unlike other crayfish, the mothers do not eat their young. Also unlike other crayfish species, they can co-inhabit in the same aquarium together with very little cannibalism, although the young ones sometimes overtake a sibling in a power play. Since they do grow quickly and multiply, larger aquariums are better than smaller aquariums. They are good in a community tank situation with smaller fishes, if given hiding places for cray babies.
Marbled Crayfish are easy to care for as aquarium pets, and are easy to raise in colonies to use as “feeders” for aggressive aquarium fishes, as well as for use as bait in AQUAPONICS Systems. Since one individual can create a colony, it is very easy to establish a limitless supply of feeders and bait animals in a few months time.
Medical (Genetic) Research is now interested in Marbled Crayfish, because all of them are genetically identical. Here are a few of many references:
We occasionally will offer Marbled Crayfish from our personal stock for re-homing, genetic research, aquaponics, classrooms, and home pets. See FEEDBACK – Comments from folks who brought our crayfish into their homes recently! We do not ship to locations outside the USA, because of a perceived threat to ecosystems in the U.K. (of course, these recycled news stories receive more than their fair share of British scare-tactic press). These crays are fully legal to keep in most states of the USA, with the exception of Nevada & Oregon. Please check your state “illegal species” list before making a purchase inquiry.
We have made a CARE section here to answer your questions about keeping Marmorkrebs. Please read over the CARE section carefully before emailing questions to us here. Here is our article which was published in March of 2009 in Tropical Fish Hobbyist Magazine: Owning Clones v7.pdf.
We are not a commercial breeding operation. We only have occasional species available for re-homing. We offer Marbled Crayfish raised in highest quality conditions. If you would like to acquire these species from our private stock, please email us for a personal reply at firstname.lastname@example.org .