How to Tell Whether a Galician Crayfish Is Female or Male

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Related to the lobster, the Galician crayfish (Astacus leptodactylus) is native to Europe and the Middle East. The Galician grows up to 12 inches long, making it a desirable food source in some of its native countries. Male and females Galician crayfish look alike from the top, but if you turn them over you can quickly discern the shes from the hes.

Telling the Difference

On the underside of the Galician crayfish's tail, five small pairs of leglike appendages known as swimmerets appear on both males and females. In males, the pair of swimmerets closest to the body will appear pronglike and longer than the female's swimmerets, which are all the same size. A mature female will have brushlike filaments on her abdomen between the third pair of walking legs at the site of her genital orifice. The underside of a male does not have a brushy appearance.

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A former world-class swimmer, J.T. O'Connell shares her love of adventure travel, extreme sports and pets through thousands of published articles. O'Connell studied journalism at Grand Canyon University, and brings professional experience as a tour guide and travel consultant. She authors the blog, Traveling With Large Dogs.