Lobster vs Crayfish: Difference and Comparison

People very commonly differentiate lobster and Crayfishe, and people find them very similar when looked at by the naked eye. However, that is not the case.

The differences between Lobsters and Crayfish are not limited to their select cooking styles. It goes way beyond; they both are completely different sets of animals and belong to different genetic families.

Key Takeaways

  1. Lobsters are marine crustaceans with a hard exoskeleton found in saltwater environments; crayfish are freshwater crustaceans with a hard exoskeleton found in streams, rivers, and ponds.
  2. Lobsters are larger, with a spiny exterior and two large claws; crayfish are smaller, with a smooth exterior and two smaller claws.
  3. Lobsters are considered a delicacy and used in various dishes, including lobster bisque and lobster rolls; crayfish are often used in Cajun and Creole cuisine and are a popular food source for many animals.

Lobster vs. Crayfish

Lobsters are larger with longer bodies and claws. They are highly valued for their meat and are consumed as a delicacy. Lobsters live in saltwater environments. Crayfish are smaller and have shorter claws. They are used as food and bait for fishing. Crayfish live in freshwater environments. Lobsters have a hard exoskeleton, while crayfish have a soft one.

Lobsters vs Crayfish

For the most part, lobsters are bigger than crawfish and can grow up to more than 20 inches. When lobsters are gathered for food, they are, in any event, eight inches in length.

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Lobsters favor little sea creatures, and at times, they become scavengers. The squat lobster’s flavor and surface are like shrimp’s, except if something else, crayfish and lobster’s taste and surface are equivalent.

Lobster belongs to the Palinuridae family, while Crayfish belongs to Canbaridae, Astacidae, and Parastacidae. Lobsters are found in North America, while Crayfish are generally found in Europe.

This is a reason that Europeans sometimes refer to Lobsters as Sea Crayfish.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonLobsterCrayfish
FamilyLobster belongs to the Palinuridae familyCrayfish belongs to Canbaridae, Astacidae and Parastacidae family 
Geographical locationLobsters mainly live in EuropeCrayfish mainly live in North America
SizeLobsters are larger than crayfishCrayfish are comparatively smaller.
DietLobsters mainly eat small fishes, snails, and prawnsCrayfish mainly eat plants, worms, and insects.
ColorLobsters are colorfulCrayfish have a greenish color
HabitatLobsters live in saltwaterCrayfish live in freshwater.
ClawsA lobster has two large pincers or clawsA crayfish do not have them.

What are Lobsters?

Lobsters are a family of large marine crustaceans, the common name of marine decapod crustaceans. They have long bodies with muscular tails. They prefer to live in crevices or burrows which exist on the seafloor. They also have claws.

Lobsters belong to the Palinuridae family. They are mainly found in Europe and are comparatively larger than Crayfish. They live in saltwater which includes oceans and seas.

They are colorful and have a set of two large pincers or claws. They mainly eat small fishes, snails, and prawns. The true lobsters (Homaridae) have claws (chelae) on the first three pairs of legs, with very large claws on the first pair.

In the words of people who eat seafood, they are often called sea crayfish. However, it must be noted that lobsters differ greatly from Crayfish. Both physically and genetically.

Genetically they belong to completely different families, while physically, they have many differences in appearance and style of living.

lobsters

What is Crayfish?

Crayfish are freshwater Crustaceans. Appearance-wise, Crayfish has a joined head and thorax and a segmented body. Their head has a sharp snout, and their compound eyes are on movable stalks.

Their exoskeleton, or body covering, is thin but tough. Adult Crayfish can be about 3 inches long.

Adult Crayfish can be about 3 inches long. Crayfish belongs to Canbaridae, Astacidae, and, Parastacidae family. They are mainly found in North America and are comparatively smaller than Lobsters. 

Crayfish live in freshwater and mainly eat plants, worms, and insects. Appearance-wise, they are green in color. They are invertebrates, i.e., they do not have a backbone. They defend against their attackers using their strong claws.

Many people confuse Crayfish and Lobsters and find them similar. People fond of eating seafood often refer to Lobsters as sea crayfish. They do so because Lobsters live in seawater, while Crayfish live in freshwater.

crayfish

Main Differences Between Lobsters and Crayfish

  1. Lobster belongs to the Palinuridae family, while Crayfish belongs to Canbaridae, Astacidae, and Parastacidae.
  2. Lobsters are found in North America, while Crayfish are generally found in Europe. This is a reason that Europeans sometimes refer to Lobsters as Sea Crayfish.
  3. Lobsters are large. Crayfish are comparatively smaller in size. This is why people in North America often refer to Crayfish as mini Lobsters.
  4. Lobsters mainly eat small fishes, snails, and prawns, while Crayfish mainly eat plants, worms, and insects. This differentiation in eating habits is seen in their texture.
  5. Lobsters can be colorful, while Crayfish have a greenish color. Even after this differentiation in color, people often confuse as they find them similar.
  6. Lobsters live in seawater, while Crayfish live in freshwater. This is another reason Europeans call Lobsters sea Crayfish.
  7. A lobster has two large pincers, while Crayfish does not possess them. However, the claws of Crayfish are strong enough to fight against an attacker.
Difference Between Lobster and Crayfish
References
  1. https://rupress.org/jgp/article-abstract/44/6/1089/30533
  2. https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.2307/1542217
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