Straight outta Brownsville, TX, an invasive species of crawfish, Australian Redclaw Crayfish, has been discovered by researchers from the University of Texas Rio Grand Valley in Texas, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

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Call 'em crawfish, craydids, crawdaddies, crawdads, freshwater lobsters, mountain lobsters, rock lobsters, or mudbugs; most all Texans agree on one adjective when it comes to mudbugs: delicious. But are these more dangerous than they are delectable? 

“We don’t know when these invasive crayfish were first introduced or how far they have spread, but we do know they can have a negative effect on local species and biodiversity,” said TPWD Aquatic Biologist Dr. Archis Grubh. “Spreading the word about this invasive species and reporting sightings to TPWD can help us better understand where it is distributed and potentially take steps to help prevent its spread.”  via Click2Houston

More often than not the introduction of an invasive species such as that comes from a well-intentioned pet owner who instead of killing their pet sets them free. I've got a lot of friends though who'd have a hard time hiding their excitement ad the chance to boil a few pounds of these.

“Release of aquarium life is unfortunately a key means by which invasive species such as these crayfish are introduced,” said Monica McGarrity, TPWD Senior Scientist for Aquatic Invasive Species. “Well-meaning, uninformed aquarium owners sometimes release their pets thinking they’re doing the best thing for them, but if they do survive, they can become invasive and harm the native aquatic species and ecosystem."

What's the difference between these and the ones we're used to seeing around East Texas? "The species are identifiable by their large size, large left claws with a red patch on the outer edge, and the presence of four distinct ridges on the top of the head," writes Click2Houston. McGarrity goes on to recommend aquarium owners research alternatives to dumping their aquariums.

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