How can we have crayfish babies if there are no crayfish in the pond?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by gcvmom, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    We have a small plastic pond on our 2nd floor deck (we put it up there to keep it away from predators since we have a turtle in there and we still get an occasional raccoon trying to heft her out of the water). Last year the kids caught a crayfish and we put it in the pond. Then I think they caught another and put it in there, too. But in May, husband drained it to clean out the algae and there was only 1 crayfish, so we decided to put it in our goldfish tank, where it's been ever since. husband drained and cleaned the pond again this past fall -- no sign of crayfish still.

    Yesterday, difficult child 2 was cleaning out the pump filter and he comes in to tell me about these tiny silvery creatures burrowing in the filter mesh. He thinks maybe they're water lice. I go out to look at them and then go online to find out what they are -- which was NOT water lice! They almost looked like baby pill bugs/roly poly's/sow bugs whatever you want to call them. I got a small glass dish and put some rubbing alcohol in and dropped one of the critters in to get it to uncurl for a closer look since it's about the size of a large grain of rice. I'm about 95% sure they are crayfish larvae! But how in the world did they get in there???
  2. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Are they the kind of creature that can lie dormant until the "right" conditions happen to hit to grow and develop?

    Otherwise maybe a mis-identification?
  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Guessing they were dormant as buddy suggested. Unless it's something else. Larvae is not easy to identify as so many can look very alike to the untrained eye. (I am certainly untrained lol )
  4. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    From what I've read, at the outside, gestation can take up to 2 months for eggs to hatch depending on the water temperature. It's not that cold where we are. Lowest it's been in the past month is mid- to high-30s at night. It's possible I've misidentified them -- time will tell! We put the filters in a large tub where I have water plants I'm trying to grow and mosquito fish living. Those little critters will NOT come out of the filter no matter how much we shake it - they just burrow deeper. So maybe in a few weeks they'll be big enough to know for sure. Very odd. One year we had a bunch of red worms in the filter. NO idea where those came from! It's also possible husband missed seeing an adult crayfish in the pond... I don't think he got ALL the water out... might have been a few inches in the bottom (it's about 8 feet by 3 feet by 2 feet deep). And since it's a black liner, very easy for a wet, black crayfish to hide.
  5. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    :) Don't ask me about fish sex....I barely remember human sex! LOL DDD
  6. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!


    I did read, though, that there is ONE species of crayfish that is capable of asexual reproduction... and they are considered an invasive species in the U.S. However, difficult child 2 assured me that the two we have/had were not that kind. Whatever.

    I couple more weeks and we'll know for sure what they are!
  7. buddy

    buddy New Member

    People do it???? OH, I forgot too.... I didn't get my kid that way so...