A Self Cloning Invasive Species Could Soon Take Over Texas
Who knew that one little crayfish could cause such a big problem? In Texas, this self-cloning aquatic species could soon take over!
Recently, the Texas Parks and Wildlife department sent out a warning on social media alerting all Texans about this possible invasive species called The Marbled Crayfish.
Look at that little fella! This lady is the real definition of "she don't need no man!" because TPWD say these all female crayfish can reproduce without males by cloning! The seriously crazy part, as the organization puts it, is that "the release of a single individual could start an entire invasive population".
TPWD is warning Texans if you have these critters as pets in your aquarium DO NOT release them into the wild! First of all, I didn't know that you could get crayfish and keep them as pets! My next question would be- can you eat them? Which, apparently you can, but I digress.
Now, I didn't think these little crayfish could do so much damage, they're so tiny! But apparently they can, and they have! They have previously spread through Europe and Africa and even appeared in Japan!
As for the science behind why they can self-clone? Well, I think this guy can explain it better than me!
Now the topic of banning the sale of marbled crayfish has come up; to which the TPWD responded by saying:
TPWD did consider prohibiting possession/sale of this species. But, Marbled Crayfish are directly descended via a mutation in aquaculture from the Georgia/Florida native Slough Crayfish, which are also sold in the aquarium trade but are not self-cloning and so pose much less of a threat. There is no way to tell them apart other than genetic testing.
This would make enforcement of such a ban extremely difficult unless both species were banned and regulations must be enforceable.
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Gallery Credit: Chrissy