My kids have found crawfish/crayfish (amerika-zarigani), but I hadn’t caught any before, so I decided to try my luck today. I went to a stream near Hyoutan Pond (2km from home: map here) and turned over a likely looking piece of old tile… Underneath was a huge crawfish!! With outstretched claws it was around 15cm long. I handled it pretty carefully to avoid being pinched!

According to the kids’ nature book, this species of crawfish is originally from North America and it was introduced into Japan in 1927. Only 20 individuals were brought over from America to use as bait for edible bullfrogs, but by 1960 the species had spread as far as Kyushu. It is now common throughout most of Japan (except Hokkaido) and can be a pest (burrowing in rice fields). In Louisiana, this crawfish is farmed for food and is popular in Cajun cooking.

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Subphylum: Crustacea; Order: Decapoda; Family: Cambaridae
Procambarus clarkii = amerika-zarigani
= Red swamp crawfish (crayfish)
= Louisiana crawfish (crayfish)

Location: Hyoutan-ike (Hyoutan Pond)
Map (image)
Link to Google Map