Are Crawdads And Crawfish The Same Thing

Are crawdads and crawfish the same thing? It can be confusing when you see them on the menu and don’t know which one to order. Well, let’s ease your mind as we have the answer to your question. 

Crawdads and crawfish are part of the same crustaceans. The name is verified depending on the state or the region. 

Like in the south-western area of the USA, they refer to the crustaceans as crawdads whereas in the south region, they refer to them as crawfish. 

I am sure that you are more intrigued to know about them by now. Well, stay with us to learn more about these tiny creatures.

Are Crawdads And Crawfish The Same Thing- Let Us Know In Detail 

We now know that they belong to the same crustacean species. It will be interesting to know about this tiny species. So without further delay, let us kick start our journey.

Various Names

The names of this crustacean’s species are the ban of all confusion. 

As we have mentioned before, their name varies depending on the region; the name “crawdad” is a synonym used for the words crayfish or crawfish; it also means small lobsters living in rivers and streams.

The originality of the expression comes from the Anglo-French word “creveis”. The crayfish are called “langoustine” in French, or more English name “Dublin Bay Prawn”. 


The crawdads are classified into three groups: Cambaridae, Astacidae, and Parastacidae. Among the three of them, Cambaridae is the most extensive family and takes up the majority of the crawfish population in the US. 

The Astacidae family can be found in the North-western areas of the North-America, and lastly, the Parastacidae can be found in the Southern hemisphere. 

Are Crawdads And Crawfish The Same Thing
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Living Habitat

Despite having three different groups, the crustacean species are likely found in various lakes, ponds and streams. Some of them need to live in running water or streams; other than that, they easily stay in any wetland.

Description Of Crawdad, Crayfish and Crawfish

Crawdad looks like little lobsters in the front. They have a pair of sharp pinching claws, with a strong body and large tail. Other than that, the front part of the body is very rigid, whereas the abdomen, back and bottom are made of flexible features. 

Crayfish is a freshwater lobster, and can grow up to 10cm/4inch maximum. Like its fellow brothers and cousins, they also have claws called ecrevisse. And it takes around seven years to reach its adult stage. 

Lastly, crawfish has similarities with lobsters, but the things that make it different are its thick body and bristled shell with no claws. 

But another interesting fact about crawfish is its shell. The colour of the shell transforms depending on the place it resides. You can see colours like reddish-brown, pink, blueish-green and brown with light spots. 

Crawfish Meat Usage

The first fact is you can cook unique dishes with the meat of this crawfish. If you plan to use the crawfish meat for your friends or at a party, you must try the classic Louisiana–style crawfish boil. 

It would be best to wash the live crawfish, then boil them with powdered crawfish seasoning, onions, several potatoes, and lastly, half lemons for 15 minutes. After the heat is turned off, chopped corn is put in and left for 20 minutes. 

Then lower the crawfish into the pot for a few extra minutes. Once all this is done, the cooked crawfish is dumped on the newspaper-covered table for eating.

If you are a spicy lover, you must taste the New Orleans-style etouffee. It is a spicy stew dish made of meat from crawfish, chopped vegetables, tomato paste, seafood stock and sherry.

The crayfish meat can also be used to make patties, casseroles, and soup as they have dense white flesh but with a milder flavour than lobster; for better, you can try the female crawfish as it is said that they taste much better. 

Crawfish queries you’ve been missing –

Can You Eat Dead Crawfish?

How to Hook a Crawfish? : Tricks And Tips!


Are crayfish edible?

Yes, the crayfish are edible like the other crustaceans. But only a tiny portion of it is edible. When dishes like bisques, soup, and etouffee are prepared, only the tail’s meat is used for cooking. 

Like in China, crayfish are served with Mala flavour, or otherwise, they are steamed thoroughly and eaten with the preferable sauce. The crayfish is edible and eaten all over the world in different styles.

Can you get sick from eating crayfish?

Yes, you can get sick from eating crayfish if they are eaten undercooked or raw. The crayfish contains Paragonimus trematodes, more commonly as lung flakes; it can cause Paragonimiasis disease.

This disease rarely occurs among humans. But if it does, it can most affect the lungs and cause problems in other organs like the brain, skin, etc. 

Parting Words

Hopefully, your confusion regarding are crawdads and crawfish the same thing or not is clear. As we have mentioned that they are from the same family, but their names differ according to the various regions they reside in the USA. 

If you love lobster, you will also love crawdads as they are very similar. And forget to try the dishes we have recommended for you to enjoy the delicate meat. 

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