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A juvenile Marbled Crayfish resting on a stone. She is facing right.

Marbled Crayfish

Menagerie Live Fish
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Tank Level:


Minimum Tank Size:

10 Gallons


Omnivore (will eat live aquarium plants)



General water hardness:

3-18 dGH


64-77 F


Species Only


The Marbled Crayfish (Procambarus fallax f. virginalis) is a freshwater crayfish species with a mottled body. Colours vary from reddish-brown to a deeper cool-toned brown.

These moderately sized crayfish (they grow to 4-5 inches on average) are parthenogenic; meaning that all members of this species are female and reproduce by cloning. A small group will live comfortably in a 20-gallon aquarium. These animals are very hardy and are not too picky when it comes to water quality. They tolerate fluctuations in water quality much better than other crayfish or shrimp. They thrive in a wide variety of temperatures, from mid-60's to low-80's. They should have access to a safe area where they can comfortably molt, such as a cave or a tube/PVC pipe.

These animals are extremely easy to feed. They will eat any commercially available fish food, but will also eat meat and vegetation. These animals should not be kept with plants, as they will be uprooted and eaten. 

These animals do best in single-species aquariums. Do NOT keep these with smaller shrimp or crayfish species, snail species, or bottom-dwelling fish species. These are opportunistic predators that will strike anything that gets too close. Only keep them with large herbivorous fish that inhabit the mid and top layers of your aquarium. Most fish that are too large to become prey will hunt and eat Marbled Crayfish.

These animals are considered INVASIVE in Ontario. Be extra careful when changing water, to ensure no babies accidentally go down the drain. NEVER FLUSH or RELEASE any captive, non-native animals into the wild.