How to Care for Your New Neon Red Lobster
Aqualand's inside scoop on Procambarus clarkii

 
 

Neon Red Lobster Factoids

Origin

Lousiana

Maximum Size

Four or five inches plus claws

Longevity

Five years

Housing

Likes space but will hide under a log

Security

Hides during day. More active at night.

Temperature

Room temp fine.  Breeds faster when warmer.

Sexual Maturity Females mature sexually their first year.
Breeding Typical cratfish breeding

Attitude

Argumentative but shy burrower

Foods

Devours plants, fish, flakes, and pelleted foods

Water

Prefers clean, hard water

Tough Tolerates dry periods and salt in the water
Threats Herons, bullfrogs, turtles, big fish, Cajuns, each other

LA
Red neon lobster, Procamberus clarkii.

Prologue.  First off, these guys look orange to me -- not red.  Our supplier IDs these decapods (10-lgged critters) as Procamberus clarkii, the American Scarlet Lobster.   Anyway, these guys are possibly a color variant of our Scarlet Red Lobster.  You be the judge.

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Like all decapods, neon red lobsters enjoy a fish dinner.

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Or munching a snippet of anacharis.

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Even mangiaing a morsel of zucchini.

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Neon red lonsters prefer a homey cave to relax in.

Armor-Covered Scavengers.  Lobsters/crayfish live in a suit of protective armor.  They shed their shells as they grow.  Soft-shelled (naked) lobsters/crayfish are totally vulnerable until their shells re-harden.  Their cycling in and out of this soft-shell state probably accounts for much of their tendency to hide.  Another factor is their tendency to argue/scuffle/fight with one another.  Lobsters/crayfish do not play well with others.  They last longest when kept alone.  When kept in groups, they need hiding places.

Moulting.  Neon red lobsters, like all decapods grow by eating lots of food and sucking in lots of water.  This cracks their shells open,  They then wriggle out of their former armor and hide while their new larger exoskeleton hardens.  Before they harden, they are extremely vulnurable.

LA
Shed shell in foreground (looking like a dead lobster).

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He pops the top like a convertible and wriggles out the opening.

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Handle his gooshy little sott-shelled carcass very carefully.  Better yet, leave him alone altogether.

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He'll flip around and contort helplessly at this stage.

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After he hardens again, this is the best way to grab him.

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And he'll go back to his pugilistic, hard-shelled life.

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She left her main pincers in her shed this time.

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Which makes it impossble for her to pinch..

Crayfish or Lobster?  Technically, lobsters live in saltwater.  Crayfish live in freshwater.  In our hobby we see the two terms used interchageably.  Most often (but not always) the more expensive decapods are referred to as lobsters.  What's in a name?  Even Will Shakespeare was confused.

LA
Cherax destructor.  Large claws usually denote males.  Ditto in the other crayfish/lobsters.

Australian Yabbies.  During the dry season, yabbies burrow down to the water table and hunker in their bunker till the rains return.  As the rains refill their dams (Australian for ponds, Texan for tanks, Iowan for ponds) or billabongs (wild ponds), the surviving yabbies emerge from their burrows and create their spring spree which results in a population explosion.  Females can kick out several litters per breeding season.  Females will breed at one year of age.  Males breed later -- probably because the larger males dominate the breeding seasons.  When farmed commercially, yabbies tend to overpopulate their quarters which actually reduces their population.  (Adult yabbies like the taste of juvenile yabbies.)

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Neon red lobsters never get tired of fish.

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He spent 90% of his time behind this rock until it was removed.

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Then he tried to hide behind his filter tube.

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Give him a cave that faces forward (and maybe a worm to sample).

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He is happier than the worm.

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And enjoy observing your neon red lobster (and maybe wipe off the algae).

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Ready to rumble.

Last Words.  If you plan to breed your new lobster, you'll need both sexes.  But remember captivity renders seasons moot.  But 14 hours of light will usually trigger sexual activity.  See Crayfish III and Crayfish Love for more breeding details.  LA

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