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Exceptions include western rock lobster (of the Palinuridae family) found on the west coast of Australia; the Tasmanian giant freshwater crayfish (from the Parastacidae family) found only in Tasmania; and the Murray crayfish found on Australia's Murray River.
In Singapore, the term crayfish typically refers to Thenus orientalis, a seawater crustacean from the slipper lobster family.
Crayfish, also known as crawfish, crawdads, crawldads, freshwater lobsters, mountain lobsters, mudbugs or yabbies, are fresh water crustaceans resembling small lobsters, to which they are related; taxonomically, they are members of the superfamilies Astacoidea and Parastacoidea. Some species are found in brooks and streams where there is running fresh water, while others thrive in swamps, ditches, and paddy fields.
Most crayfish cannot tolerate polluted water, although some species such as Procambarus clarkii are hardier.
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.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.The result of using crayfish as bait has led to various ecological problems at times.
According to a report prepared by Illinois State University, on the Fox River and Des Plaines River watershed, "The rusty crayfish (used as bait) has been dumped into the water and its survivors outcompete the native clearwater crayfish". Crayfish kept as pets in the US from local waters are usually kept with bluegill or bass, rather than goldfish or tropical or subtropical fish.Sometimes the claws are removed so that the crayfish do not stop fish from biting the hook.Crayfish easily fall off the hook, so casting should be slow.The marron are some of the largest crayfish in the world. Australia is home to the world's two largest freshwater crayfish – the Tasmanian giant freshwater crayfish Astacopsis gouldi, which can achieve a mass of over 5 kilograms (11 lb) and is found in rivers of northern Tasmania, and the Murray crayfish Euastacus armatus, which can reach 2 kilograms (4.4 lb) and is found in much of the southern Murray-Darling basin.