Will Crayfish Eat Other Crayfish? (and their own babies?!)

If you plan to keep this crayfish (aka crawfish) among other crayfish, big fish, or invertebrates in your aquarium, make sure they have plenty of hiding places. The aquarium should also be large enough for the fish to be able to remain a safe distance from the crayfish.

Crayfish will be able to hide from predators in caves and patches of vegetation, albeit the crayfish will rapidly destroy the flora. If you see a crayfish eating what looks to be another crayfish, keep an eye out since the exoskeleton of the crayfish is also consumed by the crayfish when it molts.

Crayfish are solitary creatures and apart from breeding they do not have or want much to do with other crayfish. But just like cannibalisms occurs in crabs, crayfish also do not shy away from feeding on their kind.

Under normal circumstances, crayfish will eat mostly plant material, but may also eat other animals such as frogs, snails, crabs, or other crayfish – even their own offspring!

Do crayfish eat their babies??

Crawfish mothers will consume their offspring if other food sources are scarce. Crayfish are terrible parents. The mother will only care about the babies for a few days until they can swim independently. After the children have grown old enough to swim, the mother may consume them if they are still around.

A week old baby crayfish of the Cambarellus patzcuarensis sp.

The blue crayfish is the most common crawfish maintained in aquariums. They are undeniably lovely when kept in a tank, but if you have crayfish in a tank and they have young, it is critical that you remove them as soon as they begin to swim around on their own.

Do crayfish also eat crabs?

Crawfish are omnivores who consume whatever they can get their hands on. Crabs are included, and if given the chance, the crayfish will attack the crab. It all relies on the crayfish and crab’s respective sizes.

However, it is more common that a large crab would eat crayfish.

A giant crab, e.g. like the King Crab, the size of which would be consumed by humans, will simply kill the crayfish and take all of the white flesh from inside the exoskeleton in a short period of time. Crabs have powerful pinchers that can slice straight through crayfish. Once the crab gets the crayfish in one of his pincers, he may swiftly dissect the crawfish with the other.

When you consider the variety of meals accessible to crawfish, it makes little sense to actively go looking for crabs, and any instances when a crayfish outnumbers a crab will be due to a significant size advantage and an element of surprise.

Can crabs and crayfish live together?

Keeping crabs and crayfish in the same aquarium is a bad idea since one will almost surely harm or kill the other at some point.

Crawfish and crabs do not mix well in aquariums. If given the chance, they will both try to devour the other. Crabs require both land and aquatic conditions to thrive. The water must be brackish, which may not be suitable for the crayfish. Crayfish are aggressive and possessive of their territory.

Crabs, especially males and bigger kinds, are territorial. They are more complicated than crayfish, and one fascinating observation is that when a larger crab tries to take over one of two neighboring areas, the neighbor will frequently defend the neighbor. The National University in Canberra, Australia, found this.

The amount of hostility in crayfish varies according to the species. Dwarf creatures are less aggressive than their bigger counterparts. It is not recommended to maintain larger crayfish alongside smaller crayfish. Smaller to medium-sized crayfish may coexist for a long period before one is killed, therefore there is always a risk. When crayfish shed their exoskeleton, they are more vulnerable to attack from other crawfish in the group.

However, do not despair if one of your pet crab or crayfish losses a limb or two – they can easily regrow them again!

This is just the nature of crawfish and we should not make comparisons with humans.


When it comes to food and territory, crawfish are both aggressive and opportunistic, as we can see from the examples above. If a crayfish sees its own young swimming around, it will almost surely feast on them, and if they notice another crayfish losing its exoskeleton, they will attack. Multiple crawfish should not be kept in the same tank unless there is enough room for them to avoid each other. There must also be hiding areas where they may seek refuge if they feel threatened.

Crabs are territorial as well, and they will not like each other’s company. In rare cases, keeping crabs and crayfish together could work, however, is it really worth the risk.