Orconectes virilis

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Orconectes virilis

Post  Admin on Mon Nov 10, 2008 4:30 pm

Scientific Name: Orconectes virilis

Common Name(s): Clearwater Crayfish, Northern Crayfish

Adult Size: 6in (reports of larger, 7-8in, have been made)

Diet: Like most crayfish, it will eat whatever is available to it. However, this species shows more inclination towards vegetable based foods when given an option. Additionally, it has a large preference for shrimp.

Breeding: Will mate in captivity, however, the female will not berry in captivity. Likely issues for this are that the temperature of the tank does not reach a low enough degree to induce a berry, it's just a species that will not bare offspring in captivity, or habitat is not recreated well enough for the female to berry.

Temperament: Passive. Despite it's size and powerful claws, this species is very passive. They seem to only exhibit aggression when there is a lack of food or mates, or they have been provoked or threatened.

Behavior in Captivity: This species tolerates being kept in groups very well and poses little threat to the majority of animals that might be housed with it. However, when sufficiently provoked or threatened this crayfish will readily defend itself (and may kill whatever was bothering it).

This species likes to hide under rocks and in holes, if it is not provided with appropriate hides it will start digging and rearranging your aquarium to suit it's needs.

This species is very active, and can even be "trained" to be active during the daytime by creating a feeding schedule that reflects the times you would like to see them. They are also very inquisitive, and will investigate anything new that is added to their home eagerly.


Adult male, at about 4.5in


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