What Animals Eat Crayfish? (13 Examples)

Last updated on October 18th, 2022

Crayfish resemble lobsters in appearance and taxonomically are in the superfamilies, Parastacoida and Astacoida.

These freshwater crustaceans breathe via their feather-like gills and most of them cannot resist polluted water. They eat decomposing, living, and detritus plants and animals.

Crayfishes can sometimes be found in freshwater aquariums as pets and are not kosher like any other crustacean, because they do not have scales and fins.

Animals that eat crayfish:

  • Trout
  • Octopus
  • Northern Pike
  • Snapping turtle
  • Otter
  • Walleye
  • Bullfrog
  • Alligator
  • Raccoon
  • Bluegill
  • Cormorant
  • Eel
  • Penguin

Their food preferences tend towards numerous vegetables and shrimp pellets. Small crayfishes are also a popular bait for various fishes since they are numerous animals that prey on them.

Here are 13 animals that eat crayfishes:

1. Trout

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Trouts are of the genera Salmo, Salvelinus, and Oncorhynchus within the Salmoninae subfamily that comes under the Salmonidae family.

These freshwater fish species are intimately related to the chars and salmon. The color and patterns of these fishes vary in accordance with their environment because it helps them to camouflage.

Trouts are a bit bony, but their flesh usually has a pleasant taste. The taste depends heavily upon the diet, that the fish follows. Fishes that survive on crustaceans and water plants are tastier than those that survive on insects. They can also be a good source of protein.

Trouts are known for consuming minnows, sardines as well as crayfish, which can all be used as bait to catch them.

2. Octopus

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Octopoda order comprises 300 species, including squids, cuttlefish, nautiloids, as well as octopuses and all of them belong to the Cephalopoda class.

Like any other cephalopod, The body of an octopus is bilaterally symmetric along with its beaked mouth at its eight limbs center.

Octopuses reside in the seabed, pelagic waters, coral reefs, and various other ocean parts and they can radically change their shape due to their soft bodies, enabling them to squash through little gaps.

The prey is paralyzed whenever they use their beak to inject their venom. They naturally prey on crayfish as well as clams, crabs, and other octopuses.

3. Northern Pike

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Northern Pikes are the Esox genus’s predatory fish species called pike in the United States, Canada, Ireland, Britain, and a better part of Eastern Europe. Their average length varies from 40 cm to 55 cm.

They are frequently spotted in olive green color, and sometimes, their fins are slightly red. They can be found in weedy, shallow areas of reservoirs and lakes.

The northern pike typically ambushes its predators; they hunt by lying still and waiting for the right moment, and then with impressive acceleration, they strike at their prey.

They usually eat zooplankton, fishes such as walleye and bass, small mammals, amphibians, shrews, and sometimes crayfish.

4. Snapping Turtle

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Chelydra serpentina, or common snapping turtle, is a large freshwater species of turtle within the Chelydridae family.

It is naturally found in the regions extending from southeast Canada to the Rocky Mountains’ edge.

They sit at the highest position in the food chain in their habitat, which makes them feel comparatively less fearful.

They serve as a traditional turtle soup ingredient. However, having too much of their flesh can trigger several health issues for toxic pollutants in it.

A snapping turtle’s diet consists of fish, frogs, small turtles and mammals, aquatic plants like duckweed, algae, moss, and invertebrates like snails, insects, and crustaceans such as crayfish and crabs.

5. Otter

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Otters can be categorized into 13 extant species that are all aquatic, semi-aquatic, or marine and follow an invertebrate and fish-based diet. These carnivores are mammals of the Lutrinae subfamily.

Since the 1700s or even earlier, they have been being hunted to obtain their pelts. The primitive hunting methods consisted of arrows, darts, snares, and nets, although later, guns and setting up land traps began.

Otters are active hunters that chase their prey or search for them in the lakes, seas, and river beds.

Their diet somewhat depends on their location as the saltwater otters feed on sea urchins, shrimps, and shellfish, whereas the freshwater ones eat freshwater fish, crabs, mussels, frogs, and crayfish.

6. Walleye

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Walleyes are perciform fishes indigenous to the American North and most of Canada. This North American freshwater fish is closely related to the European pike perch or zander.

They are also sometimes referred to as ‘yellow walleye’ so that no one confuses it with blue walleye which is presumably extinct.

They are said to be pleasant-tasting. Since their activity nature is nocturnal, it is very easy to catch them at night with the help of lures or live minnows.

The majority of the commercial fisheries are situated in the Great Lakes’ Canadian waters. They almost always like to include crayfish in their diet.

7. Bullfrog

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The American bullfrog is usually referred to as bullfrog in the United States and Canada; this large species of frog are indigenous to western North America.

They generally reside in swamps, lakes, ponds, and other permanent large water bodies. They can also be spotted in man-made habitats like koi ponds, culverts, canals, pools, and ditches.

The males produce a sound like a bull bellowing in the breeding season, which is why they are called bullfrogs. Large herons and alligators usually prey on these creatures.

These ambush predators are greedy, opportunistic and prey on little animals that they can overpower and swallow.

Bullfrogs normally consume minnows, birds, fish, mice, native frogs, as well as crabs, and crayfish.

8. Alligator

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Alligators are crocodiles that comprise American and Chinese alligators. They belong to the Alligator genus within the family of Alligatoridae.

On average, an adult American alligator weighs about 360 kg, though sometimes they may cross the weight of 450 kg. Chinese alligators weigh significantly less, around 45 kg.

Their average lifespan is not recorded yet, albeit the oldest alligator named Muja attained the age of 85 years on records. They are mostly indigenous to Mexico, China, and the United States.

These opportunistic feeders usually prefer to have small animals capable of killing and eating through one bite. To kill larger prey, they can grab it and drag it underwater to drown it. Juveniles eat crayfish, insects, small fish, and frogs.

9. Raccoon

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Raccoons or common raccoons are the largest members of the family procyonid; these medium-sized mammals are indigenous to North America.

Their body length varies from 40-70 cm and weighs around 5-26 kg. Their dense underfur makes up the grayish coat that insulates them during the cold weather.

A raccoon’s traits include its facial mask, ringed tails, and front paws which are immensely dexterous. They are notably intelligent creatures that are generally omnivorous and nocturnal.

They originally inhabited mixed and deciduous forests, but for their adaptive capabilities, now they can also be found in coastal marshes, urban areas, and mountain areas.

Their diet comprises lawn grubs, pine cones, bird eggs, lizards, watermelons, pineapples, clams, snails as well as crayfish.

10. Bluegill

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Bluegills reside in ponds, streams, lakes, and rivers and are indigenous to North America and can survive in both deep and shallow water, and they mostly move from one to another based on the time of the season.

They can be 30 cm in length and 2 kg in weight.

These omnivores will eat whatever they can catch and swallow; they mostly prey on small fish and aquatic insects. They can also include snails and small crayfish in their diet.

11. Cormorant

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Cormorants and shags are a family that comprises 40 aquatic bird species, and they are scientifically called Phalacrocoracidae.

A Cormorant’s weight varies from 0.35 to 5 kg and these medium-large birds mostly have short wings along with long, hooked, thin bills, and dark feathers.

They dive excellently and can use their feet as well as their wings to propel themself underwater; they were even found to reach a depth of 45 meters.

They are categorized as coastal birds instead of oceanic and they nest on cliffs, islets, or trees near the shore in colonies. Fish form most of their diet; they may also eat crayfish or sardines if they catch any.

12. Eel

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Eel is of the Anguilliformes order that comprises 800 species in 111 genera, 19 families, and eight suborders.

They are mostly predators and go through notable development from their juvenile to their full-grown stage.

This elongated fish’s length varies from the 5 cm long one-jawed eel to the 4 m long slender giant moray, and they weigh 30 g to 25 kg. Neither do they have pelvic or pectoral fins.

Marine and freshwater eels are generally used in Japanese cuisines. They feed on crabs, sea urchins, small fish, shrimps, and invertebrates. European eels naturally prey on juvenile crayfish.

13. Penguin

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Penguins are usually found in the Southern Hemisphere, though only the Galápagos penguin can be found in the Equator’s northern side.

They are members of the family Spheniscidae within the Sphenisciformes order. These flightless aquatic birds are adapted to live underwater; their counter-shaded plumage helps them camouflage and swim via their flippers.

Penguins mostly feed on various types of sea life like sardines, krills, squids, and fish. They like having almost all crustaceans like crabs, shrimps, barnacles, and crayfish.

What animals eat crayfish?

The animals that eat crayfish are trout, octopus, northern pike, snapping turtle, otter, walleye, bullfrog, alligator, raccoon, bluegill, cormorant, eel, and penguin. Additionally, these animals will generally eat whatever they can find because they are opportunistic feeders.

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