Jun 20, 2009

Crazy Crustacean

Today I was flushed out of the willows on the south side of Lake Merced by this mad crustacean. It scared the crap out of me, which is slightly pathetic given its size. But it just kept coming like a zombie. I was banging into willows trying to get out of the stand before it ... I dunno, tried to pinch my giant boot or something.

Anyone know what this thing is? Seen on the edge of a freshwater lake in San Francisco, about 1/2 mile or so from the beach at 3pm. As you can see, it has a black body and red legs. (If you click the pic it will get bigger.) It's aggressive attitude may not be apparent but this critter is not shy.

I also saw hummingbirds, double crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus), ducks, baby ducks, coots, damselflies, and marsh wrens. And pigeons and sea gulls. And lots of Salix (willow) and Rubus (blackberry). And mosquitos in droves.


Beth! said...

it looks like a crawfish, a freshwater relative of lobster

Anonymous said...

isn't it a crayfish?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

It looks a lot like a crayfish to me (or crawfish or crawdad depending on what you like to call them). Probably of the astacidae family of crayfish.

Hope that helps


Anonymous said...

I believe it's a crayfish.
Susan CO

Maritzia said...

Looks like some form of crayfish (aka crawdad) to me. I didn't know they grew so far north. I'm more familiar with the gulf coast variety. I certainly caught enough of them growing up.

rachel kesel said...

Wow, I didn't realize crawdad's could get so big! The ones I used to see as a kid in Georgia were way smaller and only one, kinda ugly, brown color.

I'm wondering if this is the procambarus clarkii linked to above. (A species from the South apparently! Guess I just don't know my crawdads.) I don't know enough about crustacean id to say, but to my untrained eye my picture looks like a lot of the ones I'm pulling up in searches.

In a cursory investigation, I can't find any info on native or non-native crawdad's in Lake Merced. However there's lots of info on the existence of procambarus clarkii, including in the Bay.

In other news, I saw a third snake species today. Gopher snake on Bernal Hill at 11 AM. Makes 13 in 3 city parks so far this year.