Patriotic crawfish?

Few people know crawfish come in several colors besides the traditional red or brown.

Ray McClain, crawfish researcher at the LSU AgCenter's Rice Research Station in Crowley, said he had heard of pure white and has seen a few sky-blue crawfish over the years.

But earlier this year some white crawfish found near Iota and some blue ones located near Mowata were brought to him.

"The blue is rare. And the white is even more rare," McClain said.

John Sonnier, McClain's research assistant, tried to line up the crawfish in the order of red, white and blue for a photo. But the white and blue started fighting.

"It was very difficult to shoot a photo of all three," he said. "I tried about 50 or 60 times."

Sonnier has just mated the two unusually colored females with ordinary crawfish males and is anxious to see the color of the babies, which won't be born until sometime in the fall.

McClain said there is a species of crawfish called white river. But they are more of a light tannish brown than white. Most crawfish in Louisiana are of the red swamp species. • Linda Foster Benedict

(This article was published in the summer 2004 issue of Louisiana Agriculture.)

4/5/2005 1:15:05 AM
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