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A variety of cottage industries have developed as a result of commercialized crawfish iconology, such as products with crawfish attached to wooden plaques, T-shirts with crawfish logos, and crawfish pendants, earrings and necklaces made of gold or silver. In Australia, many of the better-known crayfish are of the genus Cherax, and include the marron from Western Australia (now believed to be two species, Cherax tenuimanus and C.cainii), red-claw crayfish (Cherax quadricarinatus), common yabby (Cherax destructor) and western yabby (Cherax preissii). tenuimanus is critically endangered, while other large Australasian crayfish are threatened or endangered.
In New Zealand, two species of Paranephrops are endemic, and are known by the Māori name Some crayfish suffer from a disease called crayfish plague, caused by the North American water mould Aphanomyces astaci which was transmitted to Europe when North American species of crayfish were introduced there. Like other edible crustaceans, only a small portion of the body of a crayfish is eaten.Like all crustaceans, crayfish are not kosher because they are aquatic animals that do not have both fins and scales.Crayfish are commonly sold and used as bait, either live or with only the tail meat, and are good at attracting channel catfish, walleye, trout, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, pike and muskellunge.They are also relatively non-aggressive and can be kept safely with dwarf shrimp.Because of their very small size of 1.5 inches (38 mm) or less, some fish are often a threat to the crayfish.Each segment may possess one pair of appendages, although in various groups these may be reduced or missing.
On average, crayfish grow to 17.5 centimetres (6.9 in) in length, but some grow larger. There are three families of crayfish, two in the Northern Hemisphere and one in the Southern Hemisphere.
Their disposition towards eating almost anything will also cause them to explore the edibility of aquarium plants in a fish tank.
However, most species of dwarf crayfish, such as Cambarellus patzcuarensis, will not destructively dig or eat live aquarium plants.
Madagascar has an endemic genus, Astacoides, containing seven species.
Europe is home to seven species of crayfish in the genera Astacus and Austropotamobius.
Crayfish feed on animals and plants, either living or decomposing, and detritus. In the Eastern United States, "crayfish" is more common in the north, while "crawdad" is heard more in central and southwestern regions, and "crawfish" further south, although there are considerable overlaps.